Impact of the rust Puccinia linkii on Highbush Cranberry, Viburnum edule, near Smithers, British Columbia
Keywords:Puccinia linkii, Viburnum edule, Highbush Cranberry, rust, foliar pathogen, berry sweetness, effects of rust, British Columbia
AbstractThe berries of Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum edule) are an important food source for wildlife and for people in rural areas. In 2012 and 2013, many Highbush Cranberry plants in northwestern British Columbia were unusually severely infected by the rust Puccinia linkii, with telia covering up to half of each leaf. Given the ecological importance of the overwintering berries, I studied the impact of the infection on the production and quality of berries in mixed forests near Smithers, British Columbia. Sites where Highbush Cranberry bushes were infected with the rust had significantly more undeveloped berries. Plants from sites with higher levels of infection produced berries with significantly less sugar. Dead leaf tissue was also significantly more prevalent in infected plants. This study provides evidence that Puccinia linkii may stress plants, leading to reduced quality and quantity of berries, especially if the severity of the infection increases with the increasingly moist springs that are projected for the region.
Copyright for Canadian Field-Naturalist content is held by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, except for content published by employees of federal government departments, in which case the copyright is held by the Crown. In-copyright content available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. For usage of content at the BHL for purposes other than those allowed under this licence, contact us.
To request use of copyright material, please contact our editor, Dr. Dwayne Lepitzki: editor -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca