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Volume 68, Issue 1

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Distribution, frequency and host patterns of European mistletoe (Viscum album subsp. album) in the major city of Lodz, Poland

Jeremi Kołodziejek / Jacek Patykowski / Rafał Kołodziejek
  • Faculty of Technical Physics, Information Technology and Applied Mathematics, Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland
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Published Online: 2012-12-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-012-0128-4

Abstract

The frequency of parasitism of the European mistletoe, Viscum album L. subsp. album, in the city of Lodz, a typical major city in Poland, was investigated. The infection prevalence and intensity of the mistletoe Viscum album subsp. album on its main host, Acer saccharinum as a function of host size was also investigated. The parasite showed a strong preference for alien, planted tree species (i.e. A. saccharinum, Populus×canadensis and Robinia pseudoacacia). In 2009–2011, V. album subsp. album was observed on 28 host taxa of trees and shrubs, which represents the highest diversity of host trees in a single locality in the Poland. Within the studied area 2147 trees were infested by mistletoe. The distribution of mistletoes (V. album subsp. album) among A. saccharinum hosts is significantly aggregated. The intensity of mistletoe infection in the silver maple trees was affected by the individual tree characteristics, such as the height of the tree. The overall level of aggregation as indicated by the variance to mean ratio of mistletoe numbers per host fell within the midrange of values found in other published studies of host-mistletoe interactions. The higher mistletoe infection prevalence in taller trees results from differential dispersal of mistletoe seeds to tall trees as well as differential survival of established mistletoes on tall trees. The incidence of mistletoe was higher in city centre (zone of high density development) than it was on the outskirts of a city (outer marginal zone). It was found that the abundant occurrence of mistletoe was recorded in the stands of increased nitrogen input, while other stands have little or no mistletoe infection present. Thus, this mistletoe species uses both passive and active uptake, which may be a selective advantage in a nutrient-poor environment or on a nutrient-deficient host species.

Keywords: Viscum album L. subsp. album; aggregation; air pollution; distribution; European mistletoe; incidence; infection prevalence

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-12-27

Published in Print: 2013-01-01


Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 68, Issue 1, Pages 55–64, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-012-0128-4.

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