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Triumph of the FungiA Rotten History$
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Nicholas P. Money

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189711

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189711.001.0001

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Landscape Architect

Landscape Architect

(p.1) CHAPTER 1 Landscape Architect
Triumph of the Fungi

Nicholas P. Money

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the story of the chestnut blight epidemic in the eastern United States, a fungal disease that reshaped the entire landscape. The chestnut was a dominant tree in American hardwood forests until the introduction of the pathogen to the Bronx Zoo in 1904. The blight then spread southwestward astride the Appalachians at a rate of 24 miles per year until every mature chestnut was infected by the 1950s. This chapter explores the ways in which a single fungal disease ravaged local and regional economies, liquidated livelihoods, and ruined, or at least, profoundly altered, the ecology of woodlands.

Keywords:   chestnut blight, epidemic, landscape, Bronx Zoo, fungal disease, ecology, woodlands

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