Thursday, March 20, 2003

Fungal Forest

After over a century of introducing pathogens to eastern forests in the hopes that one of them would help fight the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), looks like we've finally had some success. According to this article from the NEPA News, introduction of the Asian fungus Entomophaga maimaiga has worked so well that this year, states like Pennsylvania won't even have to spray insecticides to prevent the massive tree defoliation that typically occurs when gypsy moth caterpillars invade the forests. Ironically, Entomophaga itself was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the 1980's.

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