Saturday, 3 March 2012

Phytophthora austrocedrae found in Juniper in Upper Teesdale

Photo: Forestry Commission
An outbreak of infection by the pathogen Phytophthora austrocedrae has been confirmed in juniper bushes in the Moor House - Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve in Cumbria & County Durham.  The Forestry Commission has published a briefing about this on their website.

My concern about this stems first, from the impact this pathogen, and its associated pathogens P. ramorum and P. kernoviae, is already having on important species, but second and most importantly, I believe that there is chance for the Phytophthora spp. to have a large impact on heathers and other dwarf, heathland shrubs.  Some cases of impact on Bilberry have already been associated with P. kernoviae.

I watch and wait with fingers crossed.

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