Research looks for the most dangerous tree pest spreaders, but finds nothing

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Scientists seek answers through research, but the lack of discovery can be good news. A recent study on tree disease led by the University of Florida found no significant threat to common trees in the southeastern United States, and the lead investigator states that he would carefully submit it as an optimistic “win.” ..

Think of 27 experts and a research team from nine countries as tree epidemiologists to look for the next “tree pandemic” that could destroy forests in North America. Only one beetle can spread the next bay wilt disease — Fungal infection Carried by the Ambrosia beetle, which is currently plagued by the avocado industry in South Florida, researchers know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment, as is the human illness.

So it was a positive sign that none of the greenhouse-grown oak and pine in this study died after being exposed or did not reveal any other adverse effects. Fungi From a foreign woodboring beetle, he is a principal investigator in research and forest Entomology, Faculty of Forestry and Fisheries, University of Florida. One of the greatest threats to the US tree industry and forests is a fungal disease carried by invading wood perforators from abroad.

“It’s definitely worth it,” Hulcr said of the team’s pre-intrusion risk assessment. “If we had used the same method for laurels and elms many years ago, we would have detected bay wilts and elm bacteria in the Netherlands in advance. This is one of the moments when negative results are great news. It is more effective than an aggressive risk investigation “sit and wait” strategy. “

The UF / IFAS Forest Insectology Institute is working with scientists around the world to drill 55 species of Eurasia with the aim of identifying which exotic beetles pose a risk when introduced into forests in North America. We collected sexual beetles and extracted 111 fungal samples from them. These fungal samples were brought into a greenhouse managed by the Plant Industry Division (FDACS-DPI) of the Florida Agricultural Consumer Services Division, a collaborative research institute in Gainesville.

There, in a highly controlled environment, fungi were introduced into 4-year-old seedlings common to the southeastern United States. At the end of the 10-week study, everything wood I was still alive. Only some trees leave evidence of infection, and Hulcr finds that the fungus that caused these signs will be further studied.

“We have detected some beetle-related fungi that are weak pathogens, but most exotic fungi appear to be harmless,” Hulcr said.

Almost half of Florida’s land area (about 25,000 acres) is covered with forest. Hulcr said it is important to look at southeastern tree species in pre-invasion risk assessments, as dense forest coverings in the area often aid in the spread of invading species.

“In most cases, this study demonstrates the effectiveness and value of risk assessments,” said Hulcr, who said the team was the largest pre-invasion assessment of exotic tree pathogens conducted worldwide. I explained that I believe. “We only scratched the surface with the potential pathogens that existed there, but we have shown that risk assessment of these diseases is not only possible, but also effective.”

Fungi: Links lacking in tree planting plans

For more information:
You Li et al, Pre-invasion assessment of exotic bark beetle-borne fungi to detect bark-killing pathogens, Plant pathology (2021). DOI: 10.1094 / PHYTO-01-21-0041-R

Quote: Carefully optimistic: The survey looked for the most dangerous tree pest epidemic, but https: // to 2022 Nothing was found that was acquired on February 9, 2022 (February 9, 2022).

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Research looks for the most dangerous tree pest spreaders, but finds nothing

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