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US army may have killed Italian trees
Nature ^ | 4/6/04 | Helen R. Pilcher

Posted on 04/06/2004 11:45:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker

The US Army may have unwittingly killed hundreds of pine trees in an Italian hunting estate. Genetic analysis suggests that the trees were infected with an American fungus, imported by US troops during the Second World War.

The Presidential Estate of Castelporziano, not far from Rome, was once home to 60 square kilometres of native Italian flora, including the Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea). Twenty years ago, estate staff noticed that the pine were beginning to rot. Today, a 100-metre barren gash reminds them where the trees once stood.

In an attempt to track down the killer, researchers studied DNA from fungi at the base of infected trees. The fungi were an American form of Heterobasidion annosum, a pest that makes trees rot from the inside out, the team report in Mycological Research1.

The fungi probably arrived with the US army, says team member Matteo Garbelotto from the University of California, Berkeley. American troops set up camp on the estate shortly after capturing Rome in 1944.

The pathogen probably stowed away in transport crates or other military equipment made from wood from infected trees, the researchers say.

"It's a plausible explanation," says tree pathologist Joan Webber from the UK Forestry Commission. H. annosum spreads from tree root to root, and can travel through the air as spores - but it's unlikely spores blew across the Atlantic.

The findings sound a warning bell for future military operations. "When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading," says Garbelotto.

Slow death

Fungal DNA taken from seven infected Castelporziano pines matched American, not European samples of the fungus, the team found.

Samples from the trees differed genetically. This shows infection occurred decades ago, giving the fungus time reproduce and generate diverse offspring.

H. annosum kills trees over many decades, says forest patholgist Jan Stenlid from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. So trees infected in 1944 might not have displayed symptoms until the 1980s.

Researchers are watching to see if the disease spreads beyond the estate. The fungus can infect pine, fir and spruce trees.

The disease can be contained, says Stenlid, by spraying anti-fungal agents onto exposed stumps or bark to block the fungi's point of entry into the tree. When conifers are pruned or thinned, their exposed surfaces can be treated immediately to lower the risk of infection, says Stenlid.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: environment; fungus; italy; justdamn; lefties; pines; tree; wwii
"When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading,"

LOL! . . . Oh, brother. The hate America crowd is losing it.

1 posted on 04/06/2004 11:45:47 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
The disease can be contained, says Stenlid, by spraying anti-fungal agents onto exposed stumps or bark to block the fungi's point of entry into the tree. When conifers are pruned or thinned, their exposed surfaces can be treated immediately to lower the risk of infection, says Stenlid.

If this is the case why the hell didn't they start spraying before the trees started dying? and I swear the world just wants to hate us, no matter what. They figure any excuse will do.

Red

2 posted on 04/06/2004 11:54:44 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (EVIL.......thy name is Hillary)
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To: LibWhacker
*gasp!*
3 posted on 04/06/2004 11:56:31 PM PDT by AntiGuv (When the countdown hits zero, something's gonna happen..)
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To: LibWhacker
They wrote the headline wrong. It should have been, More Victims of the WWII Axis. Or, More Victims of Italian Facism. It is not like the US was a bunch of tourist coming over there because we wanted to be there.
4 posted on 04/06/2004 11:57:18 PM PDT by JLS
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To: LibWhacker
Sheesh. We had more important things to do in 1944 than check crates for fungus.
5 posted on 04/06/2004 11:57:32 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: LibWhacker
The US Army may have unwittingly killed hundreds of pine trees in an Italian hunting estate. Genetic analysis suggests that the trees were infected with an American fungus, imported by US troops during the Second World War.

We defeated the Nazi Axis and all these idjits can yammer about sixty years later are their frickin' TREES??

Just when I think the Eurotwits can't sink any lower...

6 posted on 04/06/2004 11:58:16 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Leftists claim Bush is a terrorist. So why aren't they trying to appease him?)
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To: LibWhacker
"When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading", says Garbelotto.


We're really sorry, Mr. Garbelotto. We were so preoccupied fighting and dying to liberate Italy from the Nazis that we forgot all about doing a fungal analysis of our shipping crates. We hope you can forgive us.

7 posted on 04/07/2004 12:03:19 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: LibWhacker
"When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading," says Garbelotto.

Okay. Sounds good to me. The next time some a**hole decides it his turn to conquer the world, before we (again) militarily engage the enemy, we will call in Greenpeace, PETA, ELF (and hundreds of others) to do an environmental impact study. That should only take about 10 years (more if the Area of Operations is "hot).

This has two benefits:
1. No soldiers will die during the study (except of course by natural causes), and
2. It will help thin the Environnazi population.

PS: JF'nK would probably SUPPORT this!

8 posted on 04/07/2004 12:06:43 AM PDT by An.American.Expatriate (A vote for JF'nK is a vote for Peace in our Time!)
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To: LibWhacker

In the 1940s the Italians were doing some "exporting" themselves. Yenakievo, East Ukraine has a big Italian military cemetary.

9 posted on 04/07/2004 12:10:48 AM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: LibWhacker
I am getting so tired of these U.S.-is-responsible muck. Would they have rather we left them to Mussolini?
10 posted on 04/07/2004 12:12:32 AM PDT by Ruth A.
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To: LibWhacker
You know, the liberals keep screaming to bring back the draft (mostly to appease their usually ignored Black and Hispanic supporters)... I think that it's time we give them some time on the soapbox.. It strikes me that if these idle folks at Berkley, Harvard, Rutgers, etc were given a couple years in the military, they might have a bit of an appreciation of the fact that usually studying wood with a microscope on the off chance that a fungus that would kill a tree in twenty years might be there.
11 posted on 04/07/2004 12:39:29 AM PDT by kingu (Which would you bet on? Iraq and Afghanistan? Or Haiti and Kosovo?)
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To: LibWhacker
And other countries have introduced: starlings, kudzu, zebra nussels, dutch elm disease and many more things to ours.
12 posted on 04/07/2004 12:56:53 AM PDT by Wacka
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To: LibWhacker
You know what bigotry is? It's an Italian forest.

Big-a tree.

13 posted on 04/07/2004 1:22:40 AM PDT by lowbridge
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To: LibWhacker
Guys guys guys...

I think y'all might be getting a persecution complex.

It's just a dumb article written so an Italian can get his tenure...what's the problem?

Or are we in the bleacher seats? If we are I'll load my balloon launcher and get ready to let rip.
14 posted on 04/07/2004 1:59:09 AM PDT by Tredge
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To: LibWhacker
This intentional act of arbicide by our troops has pushed me over the edge. Where is Hillary to save us all? What a world!
15 posted on 04/07/2004 2:43:35 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: LibWhacker
Oh PUH-LEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZE!!!!

This is the epitomy of anti-American insanity. How many friggin' Italian trees were blown to smithereens by bombs, artillery and hand grenades??

Must be a slow week for the anti-American enviro-nazis.
16 posted on 04/07/2004 2:43:59 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: Wacka
And other countries have introduced: starlings, kudzu, zebra mussels, dutch elm disease and many more things to ours.

And killer bees.
17 posted on 04/07/2004 2:47:27 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: LibWhacker
Don't you think you people are just slightly over-reacting to this article? The spread of invasive species is a huge problem worldwide - one of the other posters mentioned several notorious US invaders. Don't you think the southern states could do without fire ants and Africanized bees, or foresters in the northeast wish the Gypsy moth or elm disease or chestnut blight had never been introduced? The author studied the problem and made a recommendation on future prevention, that's all. That's his job as a scientist.
18 posted on 04/07/2004 3:46:24 AM PDT by Youngblood
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To: lowbridge
You know what bigotry is? It's an Italian forest.   Big-a tree.

"Ya never know whatcha gonna git," Forest Gumpardi.

19 posted on 04/07/2004 5:26:28 AM PDT by jigsaw (God Bless Our Military.)
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To: mhking
Just damn?
20 posted on 04/07/2004 6:11:41 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Become a dollar-a-day donor and help end the quarterly fundraisers!)
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To: LibWhacker
We should be blaming the Europeans for all the Norway rats they transported over here in their rat infested ships from 1500's-1900's.
21 posted on 04/07/2004 7:15:09 AM PDT by Chewbacca (I think I will stay single. Getting married is just so 'gay'.)
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To: LibWhacker
Our military is involved in major action in Iraq TODAY...and I'm supposed to worry about THIS?

Right.

22 posted on 04/07/2004 7:21:43 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Thank You Troops!)
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To: LibWhacker
Our military is involved in major action in Iraq TODAY...and I'm supposed to worry about THIS?

Right.

23 posted on 04/07/2004 7:21:46 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Thank You Troops!)
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To: farmfriend; Carry_Okie
ping
24 posted on 04/07/2004 9:25:56 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: LibWhacker
So burn them down and plant some friggin' seeds... You're still free, aren't you?!

...brother!...

25 posted on 04/07/2004 9:30:48 AM PDT by Ladysmith (If 10% is good enough for God, it should be good enough for the IRS!)
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To: LibWhacker
The findings sound a warning bell for future military operations. "When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading," says Garbelotto.

Fine. We'll do that just as soon as Europe sterilizes all the goods it ships to the US. After Dutch Elm disease, Afghan pine beetle, Japanese beetle, starthistle, knapweed, sudden oak death, botryospheria, nobody knows how many grasses, and Italian thistle (of which I weed thousands every year), I've just about had it with Eurasian pests.

26 posted on 04/07/2004 12:37:31 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Polybius
Exactly! The ingratitude of these Eurotwits is breathtaking.
27 posted on 04/07/2004 1:29:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
reparations. now. at least 100 lira.
28 posted on 04/07/2004 1:31:48 PM PDT by johnb838 (Allah hates jihadists and delights in sending them to hell)
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To: kingu
Actually it was more like 40 years . . . The trees only started dying 20 years ago. LOL, these people are OUTTA THEIR MINDS with their hatred of America. Pi** on 'em.
29 posted on 04/07/2004 1:33:50 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: lowbridge
lol
30 posted on 04/07/2004 1:34:13 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: DustyMoment
Now, now, now . . . We're not supposed to actually use our brains while evaluating environazi claims!
31 posted on 04/07/2004 1:36:57 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
Back when I was importing machine parts from Europe, we often had major delays in the shipments due to diseased wood in the crates that came from the area.

These diseases are responsible for the majority of our own current crop of various blights that affect our trees today and they originated in Europe, not here!

Send the bill back, change the name on it and tack on about three trillion Euros for general principle.

They owe the U.S. more than we can count.

32 posted on 04/07/2004 1:39:12 PM PDT by Cold Heat (Notice! Looking for a replacement lawyer with only one hand! (who can't say "on the other hand")
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To: Youngblood
. . . and made a recommendation on future prevention, that's all.

Ridiculous recommendation, if we want to be accurate.

33 posted on 04/07/2004 1:40:03 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Chewbacca
Not the same at all. This bit of recklessness on our part killed some trees in the garden of a prancing Italian prince! Doncha see the difference? . . . Not one Norway rat ever bothered an American prince. </sarcasm> :-)
34 posted on 04/07/2004 1:45:20 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: wirestripper
They owe the U.S. more than we can count.

No good deed goes unpunished. I hope we pause and remember that next time we're feeling inclined to help an ungrateful world.

35 posted on 04/07/2004 1:52:18 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: struwwelpeter
In the 1940s the Italians were doing some "exporting" themselves. Yenakievo, East Ukraine has a big Italian military cemetary.

I had a distant cousin who disappeared on the Russian front with the Italian army in 1944.

36 posted on 04/07/2004 3:57:48 PM PDT by Heyworth
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To: Youngblood
The author studied the problem and made a recommendation on future prevention, that's all. That's his job as a scientist.

As a scientist, it might be useful for him to consider the possibility that the disease killing the trees could have been brought into Italy via other means. Sure, I know that in the 60 years since the war ended, NO ONE has bothered to visit from any other country due to the stranglehold that America has on Italy. In this day and age of easy, quick global travel, couldn't there be the tiniest possibility that the disease might have arrived by other means?

If the Italians think that this will qualify them for "reparations", they should start looking for another teat to suck - ours are quickly drying up.

As a "scientist", the author practices Kyoto thinking and, doubtless, believes in global warming.
37 posted on 04/07/2004 4:07:09 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: LibWhacker; abbi_normal_2; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; alphadog; amom; AndreaZingg; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
38 posted on 04/07/2004 6:40:55 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: LibWhacker
Hep me.....where's Mussolini when you need him?
39 posted on 04/07/2004 6:44:15 PM PDT by pointsal
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To: LibWhacker
Unlikely the Spores blew across the atlantic? Then how come we are told that West Nile disease blew across that same Atlantic to the USA?

They could have caught the disease from some amorous tree hugger, possibly a pineophile. They can't help it though-they are born that way.


40 posted on 04/07/2004 7:54:27 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (A nuance here, a nuance there and the next thing you know it's a flip flopping Kerryesque nuisance)
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To: LibWhacker
"When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading," says Garbelotto.

What is ridiculous about that recommendation? The author is suggesting a solution to the problem. Its up to governments whether they heed the advice or consider it impractical.

41 posted on 04/08/2004 2:07:48 AM PDT by Youngblood
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To: DustyMoment
Where are reparations mentioned? I doubt if any government wants to start down the road of suing for the negative effects of introduced species.

Of course the fungus could have arrived by other means. The author is inferring a likely means of entry given that the fungus is most probably of American origin, that US troops were stationed in the estate and the infection occurred decades ago. I'm sure that in researching the comings and goings at the estate (which probably has good records being a Presidential one) that the investigators looked at all possible modes of introduction.

42 posted on 04/08/2004 2:19:18 AM PDT by Youngblood
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To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!!
43 posted on 04/08/2004 3:17:32 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: Youngblood
Check or sterilize every piece of wood, every splinter, every mote of dust that we carry with us, not only for every harmful microorganism that we already know about, but for every microorganism that we don't know about, but that may be potentially harmful to somebody, or something, somewhere in the world, 40 years from now? I'd say that qualifies for ridiculous.
44 posted on 04/08/2004 6:01:14 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
Yes, what you state, taking checks to the nth degree, is obviously ridiculous. I doubt very much that this is what the author envisioned. Maybe making a start, (presuming that one has not already been made) by spot-checking for signs of diseased wood or treating wood for known diseases at the source would be something that could be done. Despite the dismissals of some, these are serious issues for industries such as forestry, farming and fisheries, not to mention human health and wildlife conservation.
45 posted on 04/08/2004 6:57:25 AM PDT by Youngblood
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