Ash dieback - research, funding and policy news, 28 May 2013

28th May 2013

Chalara fraxinea (Chalara ash dieback) updated pest risk analysis

As C. fraxinea represents a substantial threat to the UK’s forests, Forest Research prepared a risk assessment, which described the nature and extent of that threat and possible risk management measures. The risk assessment was subsequently published for consultation with comments invited by the end of October 2012. Following a review of the responses received to the consultation and of subsequent developments in our understanding of the organism, an updated, more comprehensive PRA is now available.

 

Chalara and the social amplification of risk

A short review of the academic literature on the social amplification of risk was undertaken to help inform Defra’s response to Chalara and wider plans for improving tree health. The review was designed to better understand the reasons behind changing levels of concern (eg by the public and other stakeholders) as experienced during the Chalara outbreak, to help highlight key issues when communicating and engaging the public and stakeholders on tree health.

 

Chalara in ash trees: A framework for assessing ecosystem impacts and appraising options

This paper develops a framework for assessing the economic, environmental and social risks and impacts of Chalara.

 

Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce: Final report

The taskforce present their final report with recommendations on how best to address the threats posed by plant pests and pathogens to our trees and other plants.

 

Environment Secretary welcomes taskforce report into tree and plant health

A new report on combating tree and plant pests and diseases has been given strong backing from Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. Speaking during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show, Mr Paterson called on everyone to get involved in the battle to protect trees and plants.

 

Protection for trees from pests and disease held back by ‘skills gap’

Government taskforce calls for plant health to be put on a par with animal health and for the creation of a plant officer.

 

First ‘wider environment’ Chalara case in Wales

A serious disease which kills ash trees has been found in the wider environment in Wales for the first time, Natural Resources Wales announced today. Prior to the discovery of a number of mature trees infected by Chalara dieback of ash in Carmarthenshire, the disease had only been confirmed in newly planted sites in Wales where the trees could be traced to nurseries known to hold infected stock.

 

Unravelling the genetic code of the Ash Dieback survivor “tree 35”

The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) scientists are addressing challenges in ash tree genomics as part of collaborative research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Defra. “Tree 35”, survivor of the Danish ash dieback epidemic, presents a unique opportunity because its genome analysis should give us an insight into why some trees can survive infection by the Chalara fraxinea pathogen.

 

OPAL tree health survey opens

People across the UK are being encouraged to examine the trees where they live, work or go to school as OPAL’s seventh survey on tree health is launched. The survey, designed in collaboration with Forest Research and Fera, includes activities such as identifying tree species, measuring height and examining trees for signs of poor health.

To take part in the tree health survey, click here.

 

Green and pleasant land: hard times for Britain’s trees

Channel 4 News is examining the alarming changes taking place in the British countryside. Science Editor Tom Clarke takes a look at trees – and why they have never had it so tough.

 

Spotting Chalara fraxinea symptoms in the spring

The Forestry Commission has released a new video guide on how to spot symptoms of ash dieback in the spring.

 

Recent posts on the OpenAshDieBack crowdsourcing hub:

Signatures of Compositionally Non-Homogenous Domains (CNHD) in draft Chalara genome

Carbohydrate Active Enzyme Domains in Proteins

Preliminary analysis of expression profiles of Ash genes during infection

H. pseudoalbidous primordial fruiting bodies imaged by cryo-scanning electron microscopy

Primordial fruiting bodies of H. pseudoalbidus identified on material collected from Ashwellthorpe lower wood

 

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