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Disease raises fears for plants

 
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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44302
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 4:19 pm    Post subject: Disease raises fears for plants  Reply with quote    

Trees and plants are to be cut down in woodland near Redruth after the discovery of a new disease.

The Department for Environment (Defra) is establishing a "disease management zone" to stop it spreading.

The disease, which has been given the name Kernovii, is distantly related to so-called Sudden Oak Death.

The aggressive disease has spread from rhododendrons to 25 trees, mostly beech, which will be destroyed over the next few weeks.

Taking action

Defra says it is the first time the disease has been identified anywhere in the world.

The disease management zone between the villages of Scorrier and Ponsanooth means access is likely to be restricted while eradication measures are being taken.

Sudden Oak Disease, which has spread to several parts of Cornwall, damages branches but Kernovii destroys entire plants and trees.

The Forestry Commission's head of plant health, Roddie Burgess, said they could not afford to let the disease take hold.

He said: "We don't really know what the total threat might be. Laboratory work we've done seems to show that beech is its favourite host, but we have found it on English Oak.

"Throughout the country we have 200m oaks, so we think we have to take this very seriously and take some action now to protect the rest of the country."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/cornwall/3997687.stm

Published: 2004/11/10 10:59:59 GMT

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26649
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Trees are very vulnerable to disease it would seem, like all the Chestnut trees in America being wiped out by the Asina fungus Endothia Parasitica.

jema

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44302
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it's probably because they have quite slow reproduction and small static (obviously) populations, although I think NickHowe and Cab are probably better qualified to comment

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26649
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is more I think because all of a trees internal life is in three wafer thin layers beneath the bark, a lot of complex chemistry is done in these layers including defending the tree against infection, but it is very vulnerable to foriegn invaders against which it has no defense.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not sure that most trees really are more susceptible to disease than other plants. Keep your eyes open and you'll find fungal pathogens all over the place.

It's more the case that when a fungal pathogen threatens to do a Dutch Elm disease, we know just how devastating that can be. It takes a long time for the surviving trees to replace the dead ones.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14976
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's true - when a tree dies there a pretty noticeable gap in the landscape, you wouldn't notice if it was a dandylion!

Also, there aren't ever so many of them left now

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