History of Pine Wilt Disease in Japan


  • Y. Mamiya


Pine wilt disease induced by the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is a great threat to pine forests in Japan. The first occurrence of the disease was reported in Nagasaki, Kyushu. During the 1930s the disease occurrence was extended in 12 prefectures, and in the 1940s the disease was found in 34 prefectures. The annual loss of pine trees increased from 30,000 m³ to 1.2 million m³ during these two decades. The enormous increase in timber loss in the 1970s resulted in 2.4 million m³ of annual loss in 1979. The affected area expanded into 45 prefectures of 47 prefectures in Japan. In cool areas the disease differs in epidemiology from that in heavily infested areas in the warm regions. A national project for controlling pine wilt disease lays special emphasis on the healthy pine forests predominating throughout cool areas in northern Japan. Key words: pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, pine sawyer, Monochamus alternatus, epidemiology.