Interim profile, incomplete information
Ceratocystis platani attacks plane trees in the genus Platanus causing canker stain. This is a serious disease of plane trees in the United States and Europe, causing staining of the xylem, disruption of water movement, formation of cankers and eventually death (Ocasio-Morales et al., 2007). Trees infested with the fungus usually die within 3-7 years (Fredon Corse, 2011).
The pathogen is having a dramatic impact on the natural populations of oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) in southwestern Greece. Hundreds of dead and dying trees have been found along streams and rivers, with patches of 15-20 often evident (Ocasio-Morales et al., 2007). Such significant losses of plane trees is expected to have a dramatic impact on riparian forests of the region. Streams have been found to have stretches of up to 100 m with no surviving plane trees. As the pathogen spreads forest composition may change dramatically because P. orientalis is highly susceptible to canker stain (Ocasio-Morales et al., 2007). In Greece many ornamental trees have died in residential and recreational areas too; some of which were large and centuries old, and thus have historical importance (Ocasio-Morales et al., 2007).
In 2006 C. platani was identified as the cause of dying plane trees in France’s UNESCO world heritage site, the Canal du Midi. The canal is lined with around 42,000 plane trees which are under threat from the fungus. To date around 2,500 trees have been felled and destroyed. The trees have huge historical, aesthetic and personal value to many who live in the area, and the loss of trees could threaten the UNESCO World Heritage status (Willsher, 2011).
Location Specific Impacts:
Damage to host species: The departments of Vaucluse and Bouches du Rhône lost 30,000 trees in 25 years as the result of canker stain (Frendon Corse, 2011).