Info

19.2%

17.9%

16.60%

> 10

13.7%

21.4%

33.30%

Mistletoe was sown on oaks growing in the wild with different levels of native mistletoe colonisation (1-3, 4-10, >10 bushes per tree). At least 2,000 mistletoe seeds were carefully applied in April to the bark of younger branches of the mistletoe-bearing oaks, putting them in groups of 10. Sowing was repeated at least once in subsequent years, with the count made at least 7 years after the last sowing.

Mistletoe was sown on oaks growing in the wild with different levels of native mistletoe colonisation (1-3, 4-10, >10 bushes per tree). At least 2,000 mistletoe seeds were carefully applied in April to the bark of younger branches of the mistletoe-bearing oaks, putting them in groups of 10. Sowing was repeated at least once in subsequent years, with the count made at least 7 years after the last sowing.

of these parameters and receptivity of the oaks under investigation (Hariri et al., 1991; Hariri et al., 1992).

There was only a small difference in the average number of mistletoe bushes on naturally occurring mistletoe-bearing Q. robur and Q. petraea. The mean was 6.4 and 7.1 per tree, respectively. Q. rubra also had relatively few mistletoe plants, the average being 8.3, compared to Q. palustris/coccinea which appear to be 1.7 times as receptive (Table 2).

About 78% of the indigenous mistletoe-bearing oaks detected in France we studied were Q. robur and only 22% Q. petraea. With 24 random samples, we sought to establish if mistletoe shows a preference for hybrids of the two species Q. robur and Q. petraea (Table 3). The degree of hybridisation was detected by a high-resolution analysis according to Kissling (1980). 14 of the 17 mistletoe oaks tested and identified as Q. robur were pure species, whilst the rest had a minor component of Q. petraea. Mistletoe-bearing Q. petraea on the other hand all showed minor hybridisation with Q. robur. These results, however, don't make it possible to establish any preferential hospitality of one of the two indigenous oak species, nor of particular hybrids unless the composition of the oak populations in the mistletoe distribution area is taken into account.

Table 2 Mean number of V. album bushes on mistletoe-bearing oaks (Q. robur, Q. petraea, Q. rubra, Q. palustris/coccinea) and elms growing in the wild in France.

Host species

n

Mean no. of mistletoe bushes per mistletoe-bearing tree

Q. robur

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