Graduate Project

 

Management Strategies and Ethical Considerations for Controlling Phytophthora ramorum (sudden oak death): Application to Southern Humboldt County Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/6682xb10p

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  • Humboldt Redwoods State Park in southern Humboldt County, California is a coastal redwood forest, a highly unique and valued ecosystem. It has many social, cultural, ecological, and economic values, including recreational benefits, heritage and aesthetic values, high biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and climate regulation. However, Humboldt County is at risk of infection by the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, an oomycete which causes sudden oak death. Phytophthora ramorum has had devastating impacts on tree populations in central California and threatens forest ecosystems in the state’s northern counties. It has been reported in Humboldt County, and if the pathogen continues to spread, thereby causing mortality in oaks (Quercus spp.) and tanoaks (Lithocarpus densiflorus), ecosystem stability will be threatened. Due to the many ecosystem services the coastal redwoods provide, it is imperative to mitigate the spread of P. ramorum in this area. This case study reviews the status of P. ramorum in southern Humboldt County and pathogen management strategies, including quarantine, chemical treatment, and stand thinning. By reviewing the literature on how effective various strategies have been at controlling P. ramorum spread, the best management strategies to implement at the study site can be identified. Furthermore, this paper will review ethical considerations of management with the goal of providing managers and policy makers a framework for disease management that considers different landownerships, land-uses, and values. Preventing the spread of P. ramorum in southern Humboldt County is essential to preserving coastal redwood forests and their ecosystem services, as well as mitigating the spread of the pathogen into other counties and states.
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