A Mysterious Disease Is Killing Beech Trees


A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees an American forests the beach known for its smooth gray bark the beach is an important anchor species no one knows exactly what is causing beach leaf disease a team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of possible culprits from member station W. case you Jeff Saint Clair reports on a botanical who done it it's a long slog to a bluff overlooking the Grand River in Lake County Ohio it was here in twenty twelve that late Metropark biologist John for Dodge neck first noticed something was awry it just looks different no you could tell right away something was up what he saw was sunlight feature usually a tree that create a lot of shade and these are no longer doing that a slight breeze shakes the thinning canopy overhead the writer is a really good example you could see it probably twenty foot tall and there's probably fifty leaves on it and most have mysterious dark bands between the veins got sick was concerned but alarm bells hadn't gone off just yet I thought maybe just route was affecting them by the following year he says beach leaf disease has spread throughout the county and now it's seen in parts of Ohio Pennsylvania Ontario and as far east as Connecticut and Long Island this had all the hallmarks of an invasion and Rico but now there was a plant pathologist at Ohio State University he's one of the first people production a call to figure out what was happening to the beaches but Nello contacted colleagues around the world who are all baffled by the dark bands seen in the Ohio leaves nobody's ever seen anything like that but hello and his team are casting a wide net to identify a clause looking at the genetic markers of everything living on the tree meanwhile other researchers think they have a prime suspect David Burke heads research at the hold an arboretum he's focusing on a microscopic warm called the knee meta so this is one of our greenhouses here at hold arboretum Burke is testing whether nematodes found inside the leaves could cause the disease we gather the tiny worms from effectively use and put them on greenhouse saplings so if you take a look right here you can see that this is a leaf that the nematodes are added to and what you can see is the disease right away so you can see this sort of dark green color that is between the veins it looks a little blister too right it's a perfect match this is basically unheard of Lynn Carter is anemic toad expert with the US department of agriculture she says it's the first example she's seen of nima toad killing large trees Carter says the rogue warm is a sub species of one recently discovered in Japan but that may not be its origin this thing might have come from China or Korea or anywhere over in the Pacific Rim Carter says it's spreading eastward by about one hundred fifty miles each year and to do that it has to have an accomplice in insect or bird or both and it's also not clear how the knee Matilda truly kills the trees it could be a toxin virus or another pathogen it carries so the mystery remains unsolved for now as Canadian and European agencies issue warnings about beach leaf disease American regulators are taking a wait and see approach as the investigation continues into this latest threat to our native

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