Numerous CTHB projects aim to improve our understanding regarding the biology and ecology of the microbes and insects associated with woody hosts indigenous to South Africa.

The tree species receiving most attention are Syzygium cordatum, Syzygium guineense, Acacia karroo, Acacia mellifera, Acacia erioloba, Adansonia digitata, Pterocarpus angolensis, Sclerocarya birrea, Rapanea melanophloeos, Colophospermum mopane, Aloe plictilis and species in the Proteaceae, Rutaceae, Rubiaceae and the genera Virgillia and Terminalia.

The specific microbes that are targeted include species in the Botryosphaeriaceae, Cryphonectriaceae and Uredinales (Ravenelia, Puccinia and Uromyces), as well as the genera Armillaria, Ganoderma, Fusarium, Mycosphaerella, Phellinus, Ceratocystis, Gondwanamyces, Coniothyrium (Colletogloeopsis / Phaeophleospora / Kirramyces), Cylindrocladium, Dothistroma, Pantoea, Ophiostoma, Candidatus Liberibacter africanus and Phytophthora.

The insects currently receiving most attention include bark beetles, bruchid beetles, as well as Coryphodema tristis and a number of species that could possibly be used in biocontrol programmes.

Various CTHB projects also consider the ecology and population biology of specific tree species to evaluate the effect that human practices (e.g. timber harvesting, coppicing, bark stripping, etc.) might have on the target plant, ecosystems and the conservation of natural habitats. Many further focus on the possible impacts that soil properties, nutrients, rhizobial symbioses and climatic factors might have on the invasiveness of certain species in diverse landscapes. A small number of projects also aim to investigate the effects that drought, frost and fire might have on the sustainable usage of indigenous woody resources.

New Publications

Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Vanderwolf K, Renaud JB, Sumarah MW, Houbraken J, Assebgui R, Seifert KA, Malloch D. (2020) Penicillium diversity in Canadian bat caves, including a new species, P. speluncae. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 5:1-15. 10.3114/fuse.2020.05.01
Haavik LJ, Slippers B, Hurley BP, Dodds KJ, Scarr T, Turgeon JJ, Allison JD. (2019) Influence of the community of associates on Sirex noctilio brood production is contextual. Ecological Entomology 10.1111/een.12810
Katumanyane A, Malan AP, Tiedt LR, Hurley BP. (2019) Steinernema bertusi n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa. Nematology 10.1163/15685411-00003309
Bose T, Roux J, Burgess TI, Shaw C, Wingfield MJ. (2019) Susceptibility of Eucalyptus grandis and Acacia mearnsii seedlings to five Phytophthora species common in South African plantations. Forest Pathology :e12560. 10.1111/efp.12560
Messal M, Slippers B, Naidoo S, Bezuidt O, Kemler M. (2019) Active fungal communities in asymptomatic Eucalyptus grandis stems differ between a susceptible and resistant clone. Microorganisms 7(10):375. 10.3390/microorganisms7100375