Fast Facts

Kānuka could halt kauri dieback

The ways of matauranga Māori have helped scientists discover a possible way to stop kauri dieback from further degrading native forests.

Kānuka, a small evergreen native, has long been considered by Ngāpuhi to be a cleansing plant that’s crucial to maintaining healthy forests, and now scientists have found its compounds actually have the ability to halt kauri dieback by paralysing the spores that spread the disease.

If the spores can’t move through the soil, they can’t infect kauri, which could spell hope for our forests, the authors say.

Source: Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand

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