RMRS-RN-11WWW: Hosts and Geographic Distribution of Arceuthobium oxycedr

Results: Indian Subcontinent and Western China

Juniper mistletoe is reported from Pakistan, India, and China (Beg 1973; Hawksworth and Wiens 1996; Kiu 1985). There are also two unconfirmed reports for a site believed to be in Afghanistan (Ovchinnikov 1968; Voronihin 1908). Reported hosts are now recognized as Juniperus convallium Rehder & E.H. Wilson, J. tibetica Komarov, J. polycarpos, J. squamata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, and J. wallichiana Hooker f & Thomas ex Parlatore (Table 1). Hawksworth and Wiens (1996) report Arceuthobium oxycedri in Bhutan, but we now believe this is an error. While Hawksworth was drafting the monograph, he was also investigating the identity of several purported A. oxycedri collections from Bhutan. He eventually determined these to be A. minutissimum and A. sichuanense.


Hawksworth and Wiens (1996) suggest that Arceuthobium oxycedri probably occurs in Afghanistan but provide no documentation. Ovchinnikov (1968) reports the occurrence of Arceuthobium oxycedri from Mausarif in Tajikistan; and Voronihin (1908) reports Mossarif as a collection site but does not give a country designation. These reports could be in reference to Mazar-I-Sherif, a large city in northern Afghanistan near the border of Uzbekistan (Table 14, Map 11). However, this has not been confirmed. It is also not clear if these collections were made in or near Mazar-I-Sherif or in the hills in Uzbekistan north of the city. Therefore, the presence of A. oxycedri in Afghanistan must be considered questionable.


Arceuthobium oxycedri in Pakistan is known from a single location, the 88,000 hectare Ziarat forest in Balochistan Province (Table 14, Figure 3, Map 11, Map 12). Its occurrence was first reported by Beg (1973). As documented by Ciesla (1997) the infected juniper has variously been described as Juniperus polycarpos, J. macropoda, J. excelsa, and J. excelsa var. polycarpos. Recent DNA analysis (Adams 2001), however, indicate that these junipers should be referred to as J. polycarpos. Surveys conducted in 1977 by the Pakistan Forest Institute established that the parasite was confined to relatively small areas in the Chasnak and Sasnamana Valleys of the Ziarat Forest (Zakaullah 1977; Zakaullah and Badshah 1977). A detailed survey conducted in 1997 mapped the distribution to the upper headwaters of the Chasnak, Sasnamana, and adjoining four valleys, an area of 3,500 ha (4% of the Ziarat Forest) at elevations between 1,980 and 3,350 m (Ciesla and others 1998; Map 12). Extensive natural forests, including dry temperate juniper forests are also found in northern Pakistan (Aftab Majeed 2000). A. oxycedri has not been reported from northern Pakistan, but it may occur here.


Arceuthobium oxycedri is reported only from the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh (Bhattacharyya and Uniyal 1982; Bor 1953; Duthie 1885; Hawksworth and Wiens 1996; Rau 1975; Turrill 1920) (Table 14, Map 11). Although the host has been referred under several names (Table 1; Ciesla 1997), if it is the same juniper as found in Pakistan, it should be referred to as Juniperus polycarpos (Adams 2001). The dwarf mistletoe occurs along the upper Chenab River and its tributaries the Chandra and Bhaga in the greater Lahul valley. The geography of this small area is complicated by the administrative structure (Lahul and Pangi) and variations in place names. Bhattacharyya and Uniyal (1982) conducted a botanical expedition of the region and describe the extent of the juniper host (as J. polycarpos) along opposite sides of the river from above the famous shrine at Triloknath up the valley to the wind-swept ridges above Kylang (about 40 km). They characterize the mistletoe infestation as not widespread but very damaging to infected trees, and they identify a single localized infestation near Thirot at 2600 m. Bor (1953) locates what may have been a second, severe infestation near the larger community of Keylang (as Kyelang). Earlier reports by Duthie (1885), Rau (1975), and Turrill (1920) only locate the mistletoe in the general region of Lahul. Hawksworth and Wiens (1996) cite collections from Kashmir as Lahaul, Sumdo, and Tispa; these likely refer to Lahul, Sissoo, and Thirot.


Hawksworth and Wiens (1996), Kiu (1984), Kiu and Ren (1982), and Mo-Mei Chen (1985) report on Arceuthobium oxycedri in southwestern China, Xizang Province (Tibet) (Table 14 and Map 11). Kiu (1984) identifies the hosts as Juniperus wallichiana and J. tibetica; he also indicates that this dwarf mistletoe occurs from 3,000 to 3,500 m. Mo-Mei Chen (1985) reports an additional site near the Bhutan border, 30 km southwest of Lhozhag (Luozha) where 34% of 126 trees were infected. Collection records at GOET give two locations and three hosts: the Yamzho Yumco Pensinsula southwest of Chawa on J. squamata and J. tibetica and the Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge, east of Sangri on J. convallium.

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Title: RMRS-RN-11WWW: Results: Indian Subcontinent and Western China
Electronic Publish Date: September 2001
Last Update:
August 20, 2008