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In pathogenicity studies L. wingfieldii was found to be highly pathogenic to its hosts. In the event of mass inoculation, this fungus even caused mortality of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) trees (Solheim et al., 1993). In mass inoculations of more mature trees, nearly all of the bark was killed and the sapwood extensively blue-stained (Solheim et al., 2001). Even in low-density inoculations, L. wingfieldii causes extensive lesions on Scots pine (Solheim et al., 2001). Dying trees, previously inoculated with L. wingfieldii show desiccation and blue-staining of the sapwood (Solheim et al., 1993).
Together with its insect vector, Tomicus piniperda, L. wingfieldii is considered to be a secondary pathogen in its native range (Europe and Asia). In these areas T. piniperda attacks trees that are dying or are stressed (Masuya et al., 1998). However, in North America, L. wingfieldii was introduced together with T. piniperda. The impact of these organisms in North America remains to be established (Jacobs et al., 2004). In North America where the T. piniperda-L. wingfieldii complex is not native, the impact was seen in commercial Christmas tree plantations (Haack and Kucera, 1993).