Laurel-wilt disease is attacking Redbay trees Essay
Laurel-wilt disease is attacking Redbay trees, 488 words essay example
Laurel-wilt, is a new disease that is attacking the South Florida's Redbay tress (Persea borbonia) as well as other plant species belonging to the Lauraceae family, this disease is the reason for an extensive mortality of the Redbay trees in the coastal regions of Florida. The Laurel-wilt disease is caused by a fungus (Raffaelea species) that was introduced into the trees by a foreign insect, the Redbay Ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus), which is an insect native to Asia and not to Florida. You can find Redbay trees in the Coastal regions and these trees are ecologically and culturally important to our ecosystem. Redbay trees provide multiple benefits for the local animals. It is a great source for food providing fruit for a variety of animals song-birds, and quails, and many more. In addition, the larvae of the swallowtail butterfly require Redbay leaves for development if not they die. Is hard to say when the Redbay Ambrosia beetle entered the U.S but reports associated to the diseases was reported as early as 2002 in South Carolina and Georgia. (James Johnson, 2015) It was confirmed soon after that the Laurel-wilt disease is moving into the southern part of Florida at an alarming rate. In 2004, those states reported several counties with damage and now the disease is spreading to 31 counties and is estimated that the natural spread is about 20 miles per year (James Johnson, 2015). My goal in this paper is to bring awareness of Laurel-wilt disease and the stress that this disease has created in Florida's ecosystem. The Ambrosia beetle is indirectly one of the reasons for the mortality of the Redbay tress. Research has found that the beetle itself carries a pathogenic fungus that.
This specific fungus is the cause for the mortality of the Redbay trees. The fungus is transmitted to healthy Redbay trees by a beetle when the trees are attacked by the beetle, and as a result the healthy tree is now infected with the wilt disease, consequential resulting in the death of the tree. The disease has also been discovered in other natives plants species to South Florida such as Pondberry (Lindera melissifolia), as well as endanger native species like Pondspice (Litsea aestivalis), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) and most recently the avocado tress (Persea americana). (James Johnson, 2015). Ambrosia beetles are insects belonging to the Xyleborini family and these insects naturally attack a selection of forested plants, causing some branch and stem damaged and sometimes resulting in the death of the plant (Rabaglia, 2006 Atkinson and Peck, 1994). So far there is 30 known species of Ambrosia beetles in Florida many are non-native to Florida (Thomas, 2007). Usually Ambrosia beetles have a symbiotic relationship with the fungus by which the fungus spores are carried on the beetle's bodies. The adult female Redbay Ambrosia is the one that carries the spores of the deathly fungus that causes Laurel-wilt (Raffaelea lauricola) in a unique pouch found in the mouth that is called mycangia (Fraedrich 2008 Harringto, 2008).