Modelling of the spread of Dothistroma septosporum in Europe

T. Möykkynen, S. Fraser, S. Woodward, A. Brown, T. Pukkala*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Dothistroma needle blight (DNB), a disease affecting several pine species, is currently generating great concern in Europe. Caused by Dothistroma pini and Dothistroma septosporum, DNB affects pine needles and causes premature defoliation, which results in growth reduction and, in extreme cases, mortality. The disease has increased in importance in Europe over the last 20 years, with an increase in the number of observations of DNB in regions with large areas of Pinus sylvestris in northern Europe. This article presents a cell-based spatiotemporal model for predicting the likelihood and intensity of the future spread of D. septosporum in Europe. Here, "spread" includes both invasion of new regions and infection of healthy stands within already-colonized regions. Predicted spread depends on the availability of host species, climatic suitability of different regions to D. septosporum and dispersal of sexual and asexual spores from infected trees to surrounding forests via water splash, mist and wind. Long-distance spread through transport of infected seedlings is also included in the model. Simulations of spread until 2007 and 2015 were used to validate the model. These simulations produced similar patterns of spread to those observed in Europe. Simulations for 2030 suggested that additional and new outbreaks are likely to occur in Scotland, southern Norway, southern and central Sweden, northern parts of Germany and Poland, Estonia, Latvia and south-west Finland. Preventing the delivery of infected seedlings would be an effective method for reducing the spread of D. septosporum in the Nordic countries, Scotland and Ireland, the Baltic countries, and parts of Germany, Poland and Belarus. In these states, prevention of transport of infected seedlings can reduce the probability of additional spread by 15%-40%.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12332
Number of pages14
JournalForest Pathology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note


This work was supported by the ISEFOR (Increasing Sustainability of European Forests: modelling for security against invasive pests and pathogens under climate change) project, funded by European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7 2007–2013 KBBE 2009-3, under grant number 245268.


  • Invasive pathogen
  • Pathogen pathways
  • Red band needle blight
  • Spatiotemporal model
  • Spread model


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