Thursday, January 08, 2009

Kauri Rot

This just through from Chuckie van Schravendijk, ex-Lincoln and UC grad now working for Tainui. Although only identified in April of last year (i.e., 2008). Phytophthora taxon Agathis (PTA), poses a significant threat to Kauri. PTA is a microscopic funguslike plant pathogen that only affects kauri. Recent research has identified PTA as a distinct and previously undescribed species of Phytophthora.

The symptoms? Yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning and dead branches. Affected trees can also develop lesions that bleed resin, extending to the major roots and sometimes girdling the trunk as a “collar rot”. PTA can kill trees and seedlings of all ages.PTA has been found at Huia and Maungaroa Ridge in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and at Department of Conservation reserves at Great Barrier and Trounson Kauri Park in Northland.

Question: Is there a need for a specific Maori response, by which I mean do we as Maori need to coordinate a response in spite of any government attempts to understand
this disease? Do we trust MAF and others to do the job ... think Rock Snot and Varroa, neither of which can be considered exemplars of biosecurity success. The Kauri is one of those fellow denizens of te ao Maori that enable the reflection of ourselves.

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Simon Lambert

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