July 05, 2018
Pines indentified as Kauri death incubator
There’s a warning the billion trees project could hasten the spread of Kauri die back disease if not managed properly.
Dr Amanda Black of the Bio-Protection Research Centre says while it’s Kauri forests that show the effect of the disease through the sudden appearance of dead trees, the phytophthora agathidicida organism that creates it can also thrive in pine plantation and pasture.
She says research by her masters student Kai Lewis around Northland’s Waipoua forest highlighted the risk the disease may be moving from pine plantations and pasture into Kauri forests, carried by people, animals, and even on machinery.
That highlights the need for caution when planting new forests.
"We need to think about fencing off Kauri forests and maybe creating a native buffer zone and thinking about what you plant next to Kauri to protect these forests because at the moment the disease is spreading and it's spreading rapidly in some places like Waipoua. We're got to think about managing the transfer of the disease from one area to the other," Dr Black says.
She says it’s essential to involve mana whenua in the management of Kauri dieback.
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