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PESTS AND DISEASES OF FORESTRY IN NEW ZEALAND

New "species" of Phytophthora?

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News 164, July 2006.

Nod Kay was granted a Research Fellowship from the OECD Co-operative Research Programme to visit Alice Holt Lodge, UK Forestry Commission, Farnham, from 15 May to 2 July 2006. In the first weeks of Nod’s stay in the UK he visited the UK Forestry Commission’s Phytophthora research sites in Cornwall. At the end of the OECD Fellowship he took the opportunity to attend the inaugural IUFRO meeting of the group concerned with “Alien invasive species and international trade”, in Poland.

Although a forum for discussion of all invasive organisms, a predominant concern at this meeting was the development (through hybridisation?) of new “species” of Phytophthora within large multi-plant species nurseries, and their subsequent global transport with exported nursery stock. Phytophthora ramorum, which is responsible for sudden-oak-death (SOD) in the US, and the latest identified congeneric P. kernoviae, both of which have been found infecting a range of tree species in the southern UK, are thought to have been spread to, and within, the Northern Hemisphere states on nursery exports. The zoospores of this genus are easily dispersed by water movement and many examples of recent alder death, resulting from another Phytophthora, were seen on field trips to nurseries and riparian sites.

(Nod Kay, Ensis)

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