Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


US trees affected by growing number of health concerns


A number of emerging forest health issues are affecting the overall vitality of North American forests, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

At a recent APS Northeastern Division meeting, plant pathologists highlighted several types of diseases that are of growing concern, including:

Butternut Canker

First reported in Wisconsin in 1967, butternut canker is a fast moving, virulent disease that is killing butternut trees at a rapid rate throughout their range in North America. Butternut canker is caused by a fungus that infects the trees through wounds or natural openings in the bark. Infections kill the inner bark and create dark-colored, elongate cankers (dead patches) on woody tissues of exposed roots, stems, and branches. Infected trees are eventually killed due to multiple cankering that girdles the tree. In 2004, a survey of 1,384 permanently marked butternut trees in Vermont found that about 82 percent were diseased and that 41 percent had been killed. This level of mortality is about a 30 percent increase since the initial survey was completed in 1996. Forest pathologists at the University of Vermont have found that insects are involved in the dissemination of spores of the fungus. They are also using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to investigate geospatial patterns of disease development and tree mortality on the landscape.

Sudden oak death and related diseases

Since it was discovered in 1995, Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has killed tens of thousands of oaks in forests of California and Oregon. The fungus-like organism that causes SOD, Phytophthora ramorum, appears to be an exotic species that is not native to North America. The pathogen infects a large number of plant species, but mortality in forests is primarily restricted to oaks and tanoaks. While many of the non-oak plants do not die as a result of their exposure to the pathogen, they may help the disease to spread. Another tree that has recently been seriously harmed by a Phytophthora in Northeastern U.S. is European Beech. The new beech disease is caused by a different species of Phytophthora, but plant pathologists say the disease has a number of similarities to SOD.

White Pine blister rust

White pine blister rust, caused by the fungus Cronartium ribicola, has plagued white pines for more than 100 years. Although plant pathologists have developed methods to reduce the spread of this disease, research now indicates that the pathogen that causes this disease is moving into new areas and finding new hosts. White pine blister rust enters through needles and bark and forms cankers on the branches and trunks, eventually causing death. Rare pines in fragile ecosystems are now threatened by this disease.

Plant pathologists use a variety of methods to manage these and other tree diseases, but cite the need for further funding in order to develop additional methods of disease control. Critical forest disease research is conducted by plant pathologists in the U.S. Forest Service and at a number of universities.

Amy Steigman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>