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    Description

    Mistletoes of the families Loranthaceae and Viscaceae are the most important vascular plant parasites of conifers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Species of the genera Psittacanthus, Phoradendron, and Arceuthobium cause the greatest economic and ecological impacts. These shrubby, aerial parasites produce either showy or cryptic flowers; they are dispersed by birds or explosive fruits. Mistletoes are obligate parasites, dependent on their host for water, nutrients, and some or most of their carbohydrates. Pathogenic effects on the host include deformation of the infected stem, growth loss, increased susceptibility to other disease agents or insects, and reduced longevity. The presence of mistletoe plants, and the brooms and tree mortality caused by them, have significant ecological and economic effects in heavily infested forest stands and recreation areas. These effects may be either beneficial or detrimental depending on management objectives. Assessment concepts and procedures are available. Biological, chemical, and cultural control methods exist and are being developed to better manage mistletoe populations for resource protection and production.

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    Citation

    Geils, Brian W.; Cibrian-Tovar, Jose; Moody, Benjamin 2002. Mistletoes of North American conifers. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-98. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 123 p.

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    Keywords

    leafy mistletoe, true mistletoe, dwarf mistletoe, forest pathology, life history, silviculture, forest management

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