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New Tree Killing Fungus Spreading Rapidly in Hawaii

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12/30/2015 01:14 PM
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New Tree Killing Fungus Spreading Rapidly in Hawaii
[link to hisz.rsoe.hu]

A new tree fungus that has emerged in Hawaii has killed hundreds of thousands of native Ohia Lehua trees. According to the researchers, these trees are crucial for the water supply of the island and also support the engendered native birds as well as cultural traditions like Hula.

This disease is called Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) which was first detected in 2014 in Puna forests. Within one year, this fungus has already claimed 50% of the ohia trees spread across 6,000 acres of forest and is spreading rapidly. Even though this fungus has only been reported in Big Island Forest, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) says that there is a risk of this fungus spreading to an entire state, says Nature World News. "ROD is caused by a fungus called Ceratocystis fimbriata.

This disease is new to Hawaii and the strain of fungus infecting ohia, has never been described before," Dr. J.B. Friday, of the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service, said in a news release. "While apparently only impacting Big Island forests currently, this has the potential of spreading statewide, so it's critically important we do everything to stop it." ...