Phytophthora research at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, Sweden
Our primary goal is to identify the distribution (where) and diversity (what) of Phytophthora species affecting trees in forests and the urban landscape in southern Sweden.
We do this through surveying and sampling trees and soils in different locations such as natural and production forests, tree nurseries, horticultural nurseries, city parks, National parks, nature reserve areas and protected forests, churchyards, school yards, common gardens and arboreta and many more.
Through this Citizen Science platform, it will create a database for disease distribution in natural settings coming directly from ‘volunteers’ of the public community.
All information within our own surveys and received by the public will be confirmed and validated by DNA analysis to validate, in order to identify specific Phytophthora species that are causing disease on trees in different locations.
Through this Citizen Science project, our team intends to…
- Connect the public with the scientific community and our research on tree diseases
- Spread awareness of the impacts that Phytophthora has on the natural biodiversity in Sweden
- Educate the public – how to identify, understand, and better manage Phytophthora diseases
- Increase scientific knowledge of where these pathogen occur and which ones are most aggressive on trees.
- Work collectively to protect our forests as a whole.
The end result of this project will be an interactive open-access disease distribution map which can be a HUGE help to scientists and stakeholders who are trying to figure out how to best control its spread and minimize the impact that Phytophthora has in currently infested and adjacent areas in the future.
Ultimately, this project aims to allow the citizens of Sweden to participate and help our research in protecting our natural landscapes!