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Rapid Ohia Death

Rapid `Ōhi`a Death is a fungal disease of the `ōhi`a lehua tree that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. USGS has been involved in the response to Rapid Ohi’a Death since its detection in 2015, and is part of the multi-organizational Rapid Ohi’a Death Working Group which was formed to share information and coordinate research, resource management and outreach activities.

USGS scientists worked with collaborators at the USDA Agricultural Research Service to develop, test and validate a field method to detect the fungus that causes Rapid Ohi’a Death in mature trees. This portable "Lab in a Suitcase" allows for rapid detection of the fungus and is being used by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee to detect infected trees. A full report on the methods and field application is available.