Pathogenic fungi triggered by climate change killed world’s forests in the past

August 8, 2011LONDON – An aggressive tree-killing fungi triggered by climate change helped to accelerate the demise of the world’s forests more than 250 million years ago, according to a multinational teams of scientists. Scientists from Utrecht University, Imperial College London and the University of California, Berkeley, said that they were unable to rule out the possibility that today’s changing climate could cause a similar increase in pathogenic soil bacteria that could devastate forests already stressed by a warming climate and pollution. The study, available online this week, will be published in the September 2011 print edition of the journal Geology of the Geological Society of America.The death of the forests – primarily comprised of conifers, which are distant relatives of today’s pines and firs – was part of the largest extinction of life on Earth, which occurred when today’s continents were part of one supercontinent, Pangaea. The so-called Permian extinction likely was triggered by immense volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia. The huge amounts of gas and dust thrown into the atmosphere altered global climate, and some 95 percent of marine organisms and 70 percent of land organisms eventually went extinct. The scientists claim that thread-like or filamentous microfossils commonly preserved in Permian rock are relatives of a group of fungi, Rhizoctonia, that today is known for members that attack and kill plants. “Modern Rhizoctonia include some of the most ubiquitous plant pathogens, causing root, stem and foliar diseases in a wide variety of plants,” said coauthor Cindy Looy, UC Berkeley assistant professor of integrative biology. “Based on patterns of present-day forest decline, it is likely that fungal disease has been an essential accessory in woodland destabilization, accelerating widespread tree mortality during the end-Permian crisis.” Looy and her colleagues – Henk Visscher of the Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Mark Sephton of the Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre at Imperial College, London – caution that today’s changing climate could also lead to increased activity of pathogenic soil microbes that could accelerate the death of trees already stressed by higher temperatures and drought. “Pathogenic fungi are important elements of all forest ecosystems,” said Visscher. “When an entire forest becomes weakened by environmental stress factors, onslaught of damaging fungal diseases can result in large-scale tissue death and tree mortality.” –IWO
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9 Responses to Pathogenic fungi triggered by climate change killed world’s forests in the past

  1. Except the earth hasn’t been here that long……

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  2. Brian in Virginia says:

    What is strange is that over the past three months numerous stories of strange fungi and algae have been reported…like in Texas with the blood red lake, in Alaska with the orange goo that also seems to be airborne and other stories concerning green algae. As each month passes, the changes seem a little more drastic.

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    • I don’t think people understand the inherent dangers of the explosion of fungi and algae growth across the planet and what that means. At least 5 of the Joplin tornado victims died from subsequent infections from the inhalation of fungi spores, Zygomycosis, in the dust- as many as 8 to 10 were infected. These are extinctive changes unfolding across this planet.

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  3. J Guffey says:

    RobZionFreak – glad you made this statement. I too believe in a relatively young Earth.
    When Mount St. Helens had it’s last big eruption in 1980, it seems I recall quite a bit of discussion on this very subject. There was talk about the layers of sediment formed and fossils created in very short time, not millions of years.

    Assumptions, many times, prove to be false. Don’t they Alvin?

    Personally, I’m still wondering why we still have lower life forms if we evolved as we have been taught?

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  4. mike says:

    Oh you mean that there was global warming on earth even when the people did not live here. Can’t be, People better wake the hell up because that tiny comet elenin is only larger than Jupiter according to NASA’s latest report clocking it at 200,000km when Jupiter is only like 143,000 and this comet will be between the earth and the sun on sept 27 this year. Now to compare Jupiter is 11 times larger than the earth and this comet is larger than Jupiter and will be extremely close to earth.

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  5. jade says:

    ‘MMS’ will cure anything

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  6. Star1111Seed says:

    As frightening as it is amazing.

    Frightening in the sense as we do not know what will happen next too what and too whom. Amazing in the sense as witnessing a new birth.

    This evolutionary shift is so big that we have difficulty in imagining it and dealing with it. One so dramatic that it’s birthing us and Earth into a higher dimension. Our inability to see the big picture has trapped us in limiting beliefs, trapped us in a tunnel.

    This brings up our fear of death; not only of our ego, but our physical body and even our soul. We’re all feeling a little anxious. This body we now reside in is nothing more than a shell which houses our soul; stand strong and go with and believe in our Divine Creator.

    Yes, some will not make it and be called home before the birth is finished. The others must trust that you will emerge out of and or through this tunnel.

    Love life us up.

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