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Analysis Estimates Mortality from Fungal Infections of Ash Trees

The ash dieback epidemic, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has swept across Europe over the past 20 years and caused widespread damage and death in ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) populations. A recent analysis of surveys of ash dieback across Europe, published in Plants, People, Planet, reveals mortality rates as high as 85 percent in plantations and 70 percent in woodlands. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:01 am EST
"Although the numbers seem grim, the percentage of trees that are still alive is encouraging from a long-term perspective"

The ash dieback epidemic, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, has swept across Europe over the past 20 years and caused widespread damage and death in ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) populations. A recent analysis of surveys of ash dieback across Europe, published in Plants, People, Planet, reveals mortality rates as high as 85 percent in plantations and 70 percent in woodlands. 
 
Such loss poses challenges to public safety, productivity of commercial forestry, green spaces and human wellbeing, and ecosystem services and carbon sequestration. Accurately estimating the proportion of ash trees likely to die from the disease is critical for managing these challenges. 

“Although the numbers seem grim, the percentage of trees that are still alive is encouraging from a long-term perspective,” said senior author Prof. Richard J.A. Buggs, of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Queen Mary University of London. “If this survival is due to heritable resistance, then conservation policies targeting breeding programs or natural selection may allow ash populations to flourish once again.”

Watch a video about the research here: https://bcove.video/2PP05bN

Additional Information

 Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ppp3.11  

About Journal 

Plants, People, Planet aims to publish outstanding research across the plant sciences, placing it firmly within the context of its wider relevance to people, society and the planet. We encourage scientists to consider carefully the potential impact of their research on people’s daily lives, on society, and on the world in which we live. We welcome submissions from all areas of plant sciences, from ecosystem studies to molecular genetics, and particularly encourage interdisciplinary studies, for instance within the social and medical sciences and chemistry and engineering.

Plant science is a rapidly-moving field, and as such, Plants, People, Planet offers a platform for new and emerging plant science subject areas that have the potential for societal impact. To highlight the impact or potential impact of the research to society, all submissions should be accompanied by a Societal Impact Statement. 

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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