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Common Diseases Found On Tropical Trees

There are many hazards associated with growth among tropical trees. Tropical Trees are just as susceptible to disease as any other living organism. One graphic concern here, though, is that tropical trees, in case you haven’t noticed, are an endangered species. So the study of common diseases that inflict many of these trees is a worthwhile endeavor. It’s not just for the tree’s sake, either. Historically speaking, countless vaccines and other homeopathic remedies were born in tropical rainforests. If rainforest trees die off due to common diseases, then our human existence, too, will suffer the consequences—not to mention other human interferences such as logging and de-forestation that are killing trees.

Tropical trees and their rainforest habitat must fend off against a variety of diseases. There are some common diseases associated with the sickness of many tropical trees. Without going into detail on how to cure these tree ailments, a discussion on diseases among trees will help shed some light on a small portion of the tree population’s struggle to survive, co-habitat with humanity.

Virus infections cover a group of diseases, tree-born illnesses that were discovered, decades ago, due to the use of electron microscopes. The microscopes helped to visualize the growth of biochemical and biophysical methods scientists and bio-diversity scholars.

For one, Marchitez disease, a disease found in the oil palm of coconut trees has led to the discovery of other plant pathogens. Nematode, a pathogen, causes disease in many tropical tree crops, some of which are lethal.

The underworld-like fungal population living in tropical forest ecosystems also plays a role in disease. A genetic diversity stems from a large portion of fungal parasites. A close cousin to the fungal ground-dweller is known as telluric diseases. Telluric diseases grow on trees and cause infection, a slow wasting-away of tree development.

Telluric refers to rotting away. Here, the rotting away occurs due to a change in the tissue structure of many root systems. These tissues, known as the cortical and ligneous tissues, formed in the roots leading first to wilting and the eventual death of a tropical tree. Rigidoporus lignosus, another fungal parasite housed in the root system of a large number of forest trees, causes decay.

During the closing pages of the 19th century, bacterial diseases were uncovered in the world of tropical tree crops. One of the first bacteria discovered was what caused citrus-greening disease. Scientists believed its formation was attributed with the presence of phytoplasmas (MIO, mycoplasma-like organisms).

Notwithstanding the relevance associated with environmental factors in ecosystems, scientists realize that the pathogen, along with its variability and susceptibility to change, constitutes one of the key ingredients that intervene in host-parasite relationships.

In a large number of diseases, evolution plays a role in forming the symptoms which may, in effect, lead to the ultimate demise of trees, even to the extent of killing off wide areas of rainforests. To some extent, these diseases are simply a part of the ecosystem. Yet, with the development of logging, our trees face dire circumstances beyond the normal evolutionary tract of birth, growth, and death through disease.

Submitted by:

Patrick Desnoyers

Avid full time hobby bonsai grower. Owner of http://www.mishobonsai.com, a website with ressource for Bonsai seeds and Bonsai tree care.




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