Entmologist John Bain holding a box of introduced Sirex wasps (left) a piece of Pinus radiata affected by a fungal pathogen (centre), and fungal pathologist Margaret Dick holding a piece of silver beech affected by a fungus known as Cyttaria or beech strawberry (images: A. Ballance)
Plantation forests cover about 7% of New Zealand’s land area, and wood products are New Zealand’s third largest export earner, behind dairy and meat. So not surprisingly, it’s considered important to keep those forests healthy.
Scion in Rotorua manages several collections which provide vital diagnostic services for identifying insects and fungi that might threaten forest health. Alison Ballance meets entomologist John Bain and fungal pathologist Margaret Dick to find out more.