Mysterious Fungus Killing Trees In Hawaii

Posted: Dec 24 2015, 6:21am CST | by , Updated: Dec 24 2015, 11:33am CST, in News | Latest Science News

Mysterious Fungus Killing Trees in Hawaii
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  • Fungus leads to Tree Deaths in Hawaii

A mysterious fungus has led to tree deaths in Hawaii. The state is trying to figure out how to eradicate the fungus before it does any more damage.

An ohia-killing fungus is responsible for the deaths of many trees in the Hawaii ecosystem. And the only problem is that as yet there is no known cure for the fungus. The worst possible outcome could be that this fungus spreads to all the ohia trees and kills all of them root, shoot and branch.

The scenario looks pretty dismal. To offset such a bleak future, the state officials are doing all they can to eradicate the fungus. And help from the public is being sought on an emergency basis.

Thousands of trees have died in the Puna district. Now the fungus has been detected in Kona and Kau too. In 6000 acres, over half the ohia trees were dead for all purposes.

The fungus seems to be advancing over the terrain with the passage of time. A new survey is due in a couple of months. The consequences of all the ohia trees dying off are massive.

The very integrity of the core of the forests is at stake here. Once the water stored by the trees is lost the negative effects will leave the area devastated.

The state of Hawaii is trying to ameliorate this fungus via various methods. One is not to move the ohias. Then there is the idea not to transport any ohia between the islands.

All tree-cutting tools are to be cleaned with either rubbing alcohol or bleach. Also gardening gear ought to be neat and clean and one’s car ought to be washed thoroughly. This mysterious disease requires extreme precautions. These are the only methods of ensuring it does not spread.

The only thing the state authorities have been able to do is identify the mysterious disease as a fungus of some sort. Beyond this it is all speculation and guesswork.

The big island among Hawaii’s several islands is especially much afflicted with this fungus. As mankind reduces the pests (both plant and animal), the one thing it is seeing is species of vectors that become immune.

These include insects, bacteria and viruses that do not respond to any amount of killing agents. They have become so used to the otherwise deleterious effects of the pesticides that they are now for all purposes free of being decimated by these pesticides.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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