Primary host

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 31 March 2011 19:28

I've been at a conference all day in Hampshire looking at how to conserve Juniper populations which was organised by Plantlife. It was a very interesting day and we had about an hour to look around Stockbridge Down at the end and I was surprised to see that most of the Juniper bushes have this unusual fungus on them (I have never seen this at Levin). It's Gymnosporangium clavariiforme and apparently it has dual hosts. Firstly infecting Juniper where it then releases spores which go on to infect a member of the Rosacea, particularly Hawthorn. This second incarnation is supposed to look totally different. Amazing stuff, I've never heard of this before, great to come across surprises like this and a tick for me too.
We also saw the work of the tiny mite that occurs in Juniper berries and can have a strong negative effect on their fertility. It's called Trisetacus quadrisetus and you can tell they are in the berry by the openings. I picked one to see if I could see them inside under the microscope but they are very small apparently and I may well struggle to see them at x 40. I'll perhaps wait till I'm less tired...

2 Response to "Primary host"

Sylv Says:

Hey Graeme.
I really enjoy following your blog! It's a great way to escape the daily routine!
Thanks for sharing your passions and knowledge.
Hope all is well for you and to see you soon xx
Sylv

Graeme Lyons Says:

Hi Sylv
Thanks for the kind words. Glad to hear you are enjoying it. Must catch up soon, it's been nearly a year already!
Graeme

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