SAFEPS 2018

The University of Florida Forest Pathology lab presented research on laurel wilt disease, pine pitch canker, the wood decay fungus Ganoderma, Torreya taxifolia, and the Araucarias of New Caledonia at the 27th Southern Appalachian Forest Entomology and Pathology Seminar at the North Carolina Forest Service Mountain Training Facility. Researchers from Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia and the Carolinas presented updates on efforts to combat Emerald Ash Borer, Southern Pine Beetle, the devastating Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and other pests of southeastern forests.


Every species plays its part in the tree of life

It was a perfect day for a hike through the ravines of the Apalachicola River basin north of the Gulf in the Florida panhandle. Dozens of biologists got to spend over an hour on the forest floor listening to E.O. Wilson talk about biodiversity and reminisce on the conditions of life in his old stomping grounds. A beautiful day to interact with other great scientists on how to bring the Florida torreya back from the brink of extinction.

The race is on to save this beautiful rare tree, because all life is connected and we are connected to all life on earth. Experts in conservation, forestry and biodiversity have teamed up to plan how best to protect this ancient conifer.

News at a glance: Q&A with E. O. Wilson

Today in the journal Science,  renowned biologist and writer Edward O. Wilson reflects on his experiences in the Florida panhandle, and answers some questions about the critically endangered Florida torreya tree.

Three Qs

E. O. Wilson wants to save rare Florida tree

Government officials, conservationists, and researchers—including renowned Harvard University biologist Edward O. Wilson—will gather next week in Bristol, Florida, to discuss the fate of the Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia). Also known as stinking cedar, it is considered by many to be the most endangered tree species in the world. A deadly fungus has killed all but about 1000 trees, most of which grow along a 56-kilometer stretch of Florida’s Apalachicola River, and the pathogen has already infected the remaining trees. Science caught up with Wilson, who has been called “the father of biodiversity,” on the eve of his trip to the meeting.

Q:When did you first find out the Florida torreya was in trouble?

A:In July 1957. I was collecting ants up and down the Florida peninsula and panhandle. At Torreya State Park, we got a lot of good stuff. But we noticed that this marvelous endemic [tree] from the ice age was wilted. So, this is how it began, and now it’s on its last legs.

Q:What makes this tree and region special to you?

A:It’s where I come from, where I spent my boyhood. Not exactly there, but an area like that. I go to somewhere on the Gulf Coast several times a year, as I’ve been active in doing research to propose a new national park in the Mobile-Tensaw River delta [in Alabama] and to promote the setting up of a biodiversity corridor [that] would stretch from somewhere around Tallahassee and along the Gulf Coast as far as Louisiana. The Apalachicola River might be part of that.

Q:Can this tree be saved?

A:There is an out. The torreya has become a reasonably popular ornamental, and it’s being widely distributed. And in the return of the American chestnut, where there seemed to be no hope after it went completely extinct—therein lies the story of what could happen to the torreya. I’d like to see the torreya become a symbol and an issue that people are interested in.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6378/848.full

More information concerning the upcoming event is available here…

Torreya Tree of Life

Announcing: Torreya – Tree of Life event!

The Florida Torreya, Torreya taxifolia, is in grave danger of disappearing from the wild. Its range has shrunk to three counties on the Florida-Georgia border northwest of Tallahassee. Given this last opportunity to learn about the natural biome of a rare and beautiful conifer, a team of biologists will assemble at Torreya State Park on March 1-2, 2018. Experts will sample and survey the ecosystem associated with T. taxifolia from soil microbiology to flora and fauna, and brainstorm a plan to help save this beautiful tree for future generations to enjoy.

More information concerning the event is available here…

Torreya Tree of Life

FBRC annual meeting at Austin Cary

Today Dr. Hulcr, Dr. Smith and Dr. Carton de Grammont are at the Forest Biology Research Cooperative annual meeting talking about Forest Health and the role that ProForest plays in furthering collaborative research, extension and education.
The meeting is at the beautiful Austin Cary Memorial Forest. Just a reminder of how a #health #managed #forest looks!


Visiting botanist to speak on the biodiversity of New Caledonia.

Please join us for a seminar on Tuesday, October 31, at 12:30, by Gildas Gateble, from Institut Agronomique neo-Caledonien. The title of his talk will be: “An overview of New Caledonia’s plant biodiversity: Origins, characteristics, and threats, with a focus on the genus Oxera” . The seminar is co-sponsored by the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the UF Biodiversity Institute.



Laurel Wilt Conference

CONFERENCE ON LAUREL WILT DISEASE AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS: IMPACTS, MITIGATION AND THE FUTURE

It is my pleasure to invite you to attend this national conference addressing laurel wilt disease, to be held in Coral Springs, Florida, June 16-18, 2015.

Laurel wilt is one of the most damaging invasive exotic tree diseases to affect forests in North America. Current estimates show that hundreds of millions of trees have died, with multiple significant radiating effects on ecosystem structure and function, endangered species and cultural impacts. The disease continues to expand into new areas affecting diverse resources (sassafras in Louisiana and the swamp bay tree islands of the Everglades, for example).

A concerted effort between the research community, agencies, and land and natural resource managers is needed to address this rapidly expanding threat.

This conference provides a timely opportunity to learn the most recent state of knowledge regarding laurel wilt, its biology, impacts in native ecosystems and efforts to mitigate for its devastating effects.

We encourage individuals from across the country to join us and be a part of this important national discussion.

 

For more information visit http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/LaurelWilt/