European Ash Epidemic From Just One or Two Spores
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Posted by: Jennifer Olivares
Europe’s ash dieback epidemic could have been caused by just one or two mushroom-like fruiting bodies of a fungal pathogen from Asia, according to research published today.
This leaves even the most resistant ash trees at threat from the introduction of just one more spore from East Asia, the report published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution warns.
Ash dieback threatens 95% of all European ash trees and has already killed or severely damaged a quarter in southern Sweden and destroyed more than 80% of young ash trees in Norway.
“It’s incredible that from such limited genetic diversity the ash dieback fungus has already devastated trees across Europe,” says lead author Mark McMullan from the Earlham Institute (EI) in Norwich.