The picture above shows lesions and discoloration on individual needles of a young redwood that has been infected with the Sudden Oak Death fungus. New foliage does not appear to be affected.
Click on image for full size
Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley, and David Rizzo, UC Davis
Giant Redwoods Attacked by Tiny Fungus
News story originally written on September 17, 2002
Redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world, but even they are at risk of getting the deadly fungus called Sudden Oak Death. The trees grow in Northern California, can reach heights of more than 100 meters (330 feet) and can live for as long as 2000 years.
Both the giant redwood trees and some Douglas fir trees in Northern California have become infected with the fungus, which has killed more than 10,000 oak trees in the past three years. The disease does not kill the largest and oldest trees but it can kill the younger trees. The fungus is related to the one that caused the Irish potato famine more than 150 years ago and to a disease that is infecting trees in Western Australia today.
Two professors from University of California have been studying the infected trees but they don’t know what the long-term impact will be. “We really don’t have a good sense of the progression of the disease over a period of years,” said David Rizzo, University California professor.
Both the redwoods and the Douglas fir trees play an important role in ecosystems . As the biggest plants in the temperate rain forest, they set the tone for what the ecosystem is capable of doing.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
Biomes are large regions of the world with similar plants, animals, and other living things that are adapted to the climate and other conditions. Explore the links below to learn more about different biomes....more
The temperate forest biome is found in regions where winters are cold and summers are warm. Regions with this climate are common in the mid-latitudes, far from both the equator and the poles. Tropical...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more