Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hemlock trees saved from woolly adelgid with 'forest fungus factory'

Date:
July 21, 2011
Source:
University of Vermont
Summary:
Hemlock woolly adelgid has devastated hemlock forests from Georgia to Maine. Now a scientist has developed a treatment called a "fungal microfactory." In infested trees, a sprayed-on fungus mixture brought down populations of adelgid, while in adjacent control trees, that were not treated, the pest population tripled. This approach, using low-cost sweet whey as a growth medium, seems likely to provide cost-effective, long-term protection for hemlock trees.

Hemlock is the third most common tree species in Vermont. But it soon may drop off the list, going the way of the now-vanished chestnut and elm. An invasive pest, hemlock woolly adelgid, has been marching and munching its way north along the Appalachians -- killing pretty much every hemlock it can sink its sap-sucking mouthparts into.
Credit: Elenathewise / Fotolia

Hemlock is the third most common tree species in Vermont. But it soon may drop off the list, going the way of the now-vanished chestnut and elm. An invasive pest, hemlock woolly adelgid, has been marching and munching its way north along the Appalachians -- killing pretty much every hemlock it can sink its sap-sucking mouthparts into. The adelgid recently arrived in southern Vermont.

Related Articles


So far, only extreme cold stops the hemlock woolly adelgid. But the University of Vermont's Scott Costa may soon give forest managers and homeowners a tool to fight back.

Working with the U.S. Forest Service, the State of Vermont, and others, Costa, an entomologist in UVM's Department of Plant and Soil Science, has been developing a novel method of putting an insect-killing fungus, lecanicillium muscarium, to work protecting hemlock trees.

The entire range of eastern hemlock and the less common Carolina hemlock, from southern Canada to Georgia, is currently at risk from the adelgid, a bug native to Asia that arrived in the United States in the 1920s and made its way to the East Coast in the 1950s. The stakes are high: hemlock provides habitat for dozens of mammals and birds. Arching over streams, it creates deep shade critical for the survival of trout and other fish. Some scientists think hemlock is a so-called keystone species, holding up a whole ecosystem.

Nobody thinks the adelgid pest can be eliminated. But Costa has had success with field trials on one-acre forest plots in Tennessee, using helicopters to drop the fungus -- mixed with his proprietary blend of growth-enhancing ingredients -- into the epicenter of the adelgid's devastating attack. These trials reduced the growth rate of adelgid by fifty percent -- "that's the first time that's been demonstrated with an insect-killing fungus," Costa says -- and it seems likely to give trees a fighting chance of recovery.

Over the last year, Costa has been testing the same technology on single trees in Vermont to see if ground-based spray applications will work, too. UVM Today dropped in on Costa in the field at Townshend State Park, north of Brattleboro, Vt., and in his laboratory at Jeffords Hall on campus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vermont. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Vermont. "Hemlock trees saved from woolly adelgid with 'forest fungus factory'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721131156.htm>.
University of Vermont. (2011, July 21). Hemlock trees saved from woolly adelgid with 'forest fungus factory'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721131156.htm
University of Vermont. "Hemlock trees saved from woolly adelgid with 'forest fungus factory'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721131156.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins