Native Lauraceae (e.g. sassafras, redbay) in the southeastern USA are being severely impacted by laurel wilt disease, which is caused by the pathogen Raffaelea lauricola T. C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, and its symbiotic vector, the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff). Cold temperatures are currently the only viable limitation to the establishment of X. glabratus in northern populations of sassafras…
I did a live interview with WGCU’s Julie Glenn today. Hear the latest on the disease and efforts to fight it:
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Laurel wilt research in the news: Miami Herald reports on UF Forest Pathology lab efforts to identify effective repellents to protect avocado trees from Laurel Wilt Disease vector, the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle.
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/
Our studies with European bay laurel show it is highly susceptible to laurel wilt. The Disease Note is in the August issue of Plant Disease:
Here is a short version story with an interview I did last week on NPR regarding laurel wilt in the Everglades.