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Myrtle rust reaches the Chatham Islands

A conspicuous new record has appeared on the Myrtle Rust Reporter map - the first find on the Chatham Islands. The sharp-eyed and regular iNaturalist poster Lloyd Esler recorded the find. In doing so, he expanded the known range of the problematic fungus that causes myrtle rust, Austropuccinia psidii, by approximately 800 kilometres. There is, however, a twist to this tale - the fungus is occupying a weed. Said weed, Ugni molinae or Chliean guava, is good for making jam but is busy destroying sensitive ecosystems. Given the rapacious nature of this plant, and the lack of naturally occurring Myrtaceae on the islands, we may be looking at a very unusual situation whereby myrtle rust results in an overall environmental win. If you would like to learn more about this, and to hear researcher Peter de Lange talk about the find, check out these links:

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Posted on April 28, 2022 04:48 by reneejohansen reneejohansen | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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Your help is needed to monitor the spread of myrtle rust. This disease is a serious biosecurity threat. Myrtle rust is caused by a fungus that spreads in the air. People can also move fungal spores around, and introduce the disease to new hosts and areas where it may not independently arrive. Plants in the Myrtaceae family (myrtles) are at risk from dieback and death from myrtle ...more ↓

stevepawson created this project on September 06, 2017
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