July Wrap-Up

This past July, 42,979 observations were added to the I Spy and Identify Project – a big jump from the 36,005 observations last month! There were 5,977 species captured in those 42,979 observations by 554 observers.

One particularly interesting species observed three times in July was Conopholis americana (American Cancer-Root), a non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant that attaches to the roots of oak trees. Although C. americana depends on its host for nutrients and energy, it has not been shown to seriously harm their oak hosts. C. americana is native to North America but considered an uncommon species and is threatened in parts of the US. However, there is a very real threat to our native oaks emerging– and it was just detected in Canada (in Niagara Falls, Ontario) for the first time in June 2023. Oak wilt is an invasive fungus (Bretziella fagacearum) that infests the sapwood of trees, restricting water and nutrient flow throughout the tree. Oak wilt can kill a tree in as little as 2-6 weeks.

Symptoms include leaf browning from the edges inwards, beginning at the top of the canopy and moving down throughout the tree over time. The disease is spread by beetles who feed on the fungus and spread the spores from tree to tree and by root-root contact underground from diseased to healthy trees. All oak trees (Quercus spp.) are susceptible to oak wilt but red oaks (Quercus rubra) are most vulnerable to the fungus.

How can you help? The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recommends the following:
• Don't prune oak trees between April and November
• Don't move firewood
Report suspected signs to the CFIA
• Check oak trees for signs of oak wilt

Check out our Buy Local, Burn Local webpage for more information. Along with reporting suspected signs of oak wilt to the CFIA, you can upload right here to our I Spy and Identify iNaturalist project to contribute to valuable biodiversity tracking data in Canada.

As usual – great observing and reporting, and we’ll see you next month!

Publicado el septiembre 18, 2023 09:48 TARDE por abeemcc abeemcc


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