Lethal bronzing disease (LBD), formerly Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD), is a lethal phytoplasma infection of various palm species in the state of Florida. It was first detected in Florida in 2006 and has since spread to 31 different counties and been isolated from 16 different species of palm. This three-page fact sheet describes the pathogen and hosts of LBD, its symptoms, how to diagnose it, and disease management practices. Written by Brian W. Bahder and Ericka Helmick and published by the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, this article is a revision of an earlier fact sheet by Nigel A. Harrison and Monica L. Elliott.
In Florida, palms are an economically important group of trees in the nursery and landscaping industries. Phytoplasma diseases of palms are a major concern because they infect a wide variety of these valuable ornamental palms, and they are lethal. Once symptoms appear, trees begin to decline, frequently rapidly, and can die in as few as 3 to 5 months. This 4-page fact sheet written by Brian W. Bahder and Ericka E. Helmick and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology describes how to sample palms for disease and how to submit samples to the Vector Entomology Lab. Includes a table listing equipment and supplies and protocol for sampling palm trunk tissue.
Ants are one of a beekeeper’s most common pests, both in the apiary and in the honey house. Florida and the southeastern United States have a large and diverse ant fauna, with both native and exotic species. The vast majority of ant species have no impact on our bees or us. This 8-page fact sheet written by William H. Kern and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology describes the few pest species can cause serious problems and suggests ways to control the ants for healthier hives.
Where do the animals go when the sea rises? Learn the probable futures of Florida panthers and other south Florida wildlife in this 5-page fact sheet. Written by Larry Perez, James I. Watling, David Bucklin, Mathieu Basille, Frank J. Mazzotti, Stephanie Romañach, and Laura Brandt and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, it explains how a changing climate could impact wild animals.
East Indian hygrophila is a submersed aquatic weed that has invaded a number of aquatic systems in the southeastern United States. It is a federally listed noxious weed and a Florida Class II prohibited plant. Established populations of East Indian hygrophila interfere with human uses of bodies of water and disrupt ecosystems by forming dense, impenetrable monocultures that clog the water column, restrict water flow, and create poor habitat for aquatic fauna. This 5-page fact sheet provides an overview of the plant and discusses its habitat and control. Written by Lyn A. Gettys and Stephen F. Enloe, and published by the UF Agronomy Department, December 2016.
Global trade and travel transport plants and animals from native ranges to new ecosystems. About 10 to 20% of nonnative (exotic, alien) species that arrive in new locales become invasive, meaning they are likely to harm the environment, economy, or public health. Preventing the introduction of invasive species is the most effective way to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. Once an invader begins to establish and spread, its control costs increase rapidly. Florida ports are the entry points for about half of the reptiles, arachnids, insects, and crustaceans imported into the United States. These arrivals, coupled with hospitable climate and habitats, have made Florida home to more invasive species than any other state but Hawaii. While it is too late to prevent the invasion of Burmese pythons and Argentine black and white tegus, we can act to prevent other potentially destructive species from establishing. This 6-page fact sheet written by Venetia Briggs-Gonzalez, Kyle Allen, Rebecca G. Harvey, and Frank J. Mazzotti and published by the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation explains how to assess the risk that a given invasive species presents to the environment and how to develop and use risk-screening tools to reduce the harmful effects of invasions or, better yet, prevent them entirely.
Texas Phoenix palm decline is a new disease in Florida, caused by an unculturable bacterium. It is a fatal, systemic disease that kills palms relatively quickly. This six-page fact sheet explains the pathogen and hosts of TPPD, its symptoms, how to diagnose it, and provides disease management practices. Written by Nigel A. Harrison and Monica L. Elliott and published by the Plant Pathology Department.
Belize is home to an abundant diversity of freshwater fish species and is often considered a fishing paradise. The New River area is a popular freshwater fishing destination in the Orange Walk district of northern Belize. Here locals and visitors alike take to the lagoons and waterways for dinner or for good sportfishing. This 3-page guide written by Venetia Briggs-Gonzalez, Kyle Allen, and Frank J. Mazzotti and published by the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department highlights the most popular species in the area and will help people identify and understand these species.
Arrow arum is a native aquatic and wetland plant that is a welcome addition to water gardens, aquatic ponds, and wetland restoration and mitigation sites. The species is broadly adapted and extremely common throughout Florida, and its perennial nature assures a stellar performance year after year. This new 3-page fact sheet provides an overview of this plant and discusses its distribution, habitat, propagation, and other uses. Written by Kimberly A. Moore, Luci E. Fisher, Carl J. Della Torre III, and Lyn A. Gettys, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, October 2015.