SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF OAK WILT SPREAD IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
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Oak wilt, Ceratocystis fagacearum, has been documented in the Southern Appalachian region of North Carolina since the early 1950s. Due to its rapid spread and rate of damage, the North Carolina Forest Resources Division monitored oak wilt closely by performing annual surveys to both control for and monitor the disease. This project uses the monitoring data to investigate where and how oak wilt could spread in the near future. Understanding the spatial nature of oak wilt can help managers target future monitoring and prevention efforts for this particular region. Both spatial and statistical analyses were used, including the Chi-Squared test, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) models, and the Mantel test. Results from several tests indicate that oak wilt prefers specific oak species within the red oak family, has the potential to spread in Western North Carolina, and spread of oak wilt by long-range pathogen mechanisms have a higher impact on the transmission of oak wilt than short-range mechanisms.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectOak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum)
North Carolina Forest Resources Division
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