May 31, 2021
Fungus could be answer to wilding pines
Iwi could be asked to help spread an indigenous fungus which may help to control wilding pines.
A project by biology student Genevieve Early from the University of Canterbury’s Bio-Protection Research Centre has shown Armillaria novae-zealandiae, also known by Māori as harore, grows strongly on live or fresh pine wood.
Harore is common in native forests, where it is a natural part of the ecosystem, helping to decay fallen trees, but it’s known to be seriously destructive if it gets into pine plantations.
Ms Early says if it is approved for biological control of wilding pine, which are a major problem in many parts of the country, it may be of particular interest to iwi as a way of protecting landscapes and ecosystem values.
She is doing further research on ways to inoculate grasslands and wilding pine sites with the fungus.
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