Bulldozers and the rubber tree
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CTA. 2005. Bulldozers and the rubber tree. Spore 118. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47893
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore118.pdf
Since the 1980s, a necrosis of unknown origin has been affecting the bark of the Hevea brasiliensis, the tree from which natural rubber is made.
Since the 1980s, a necrosis of unknown origin has been affecting the bark of the Hevea brasiliensis, the tree from which natural rubber is made. This condition causes a sharp drop in latex production and serious economic losses for rubber producing countries in Africa, America and Asia. It is now known that this complex disease is not caused by a pathogen but is partly the result of strong mechanical resistance in soil, which disrupts the circulation of water and its absorption by the tree roots. This accumulated resistance can either be caused by weak levels of porosity or by a hardening of soils in areas where bulldozers have passed. In fact, diseased trees tend to be more common in places where bulldozer activity has been most intense.