Investigations on the distribution and ecology of Armillaria species in Albania.
Five Armillaria species were identified in a nationwide survey in Albania. Armillaria mellea sensu stricto was found on several conifers and broadleaved trees in most of the areas examined, except at high altitudes (above 1100-1200 m) in northern Albania. It was found to cause some damage to fir, oak, beech, chestnut, poplar, and hop hornbeam, and significant damage to fruit trees and grapevine. Armillaria gallica was common in conifer and broadleaved forests at altitudes from 600 m to 1600 m, less common at lower altitudes on oaks. The fungus is a weak parasite or a saprophyte of forest trees and was only occasionally found on cultivated plants. Armillaria ostoyae was rare in central and southern Albania, but is widely distributed in the forests of northern Albania, causing significant damage to several conifers at altitudes from 600 to 1800 m, occasionally also at lower altitudes. It was not found in fruit orchards and vineyards. Armillaria cepistipes was recorded at high altitudes from 800 to 1800 m, mostly as a saprophyte in conifer and broadleaved forests, predominating in beech and silver fir forests. Armillaria tabescens was found mostly in oak forests at altitudes from 0 to 900 m. In fruit orchards, it was occasionally found to cause disease on almond trees and pear trees (Prunus and Pyrus spp.).