Together with UC Davis, the Chilean National Forest Corporation (CONAF in Spanish), local communities and other actors, we participate in this joint research program to conserve araucaria forests.

The specimens of this unique tree located in Bosque Pehuén have been fundamental to the study of the causes and potential solutions to the Foliar Damage of the Araucaria (DFA in Spanish), the persistent disease that has severely threatened the survival of the araucaria tree for the last ten years.

Bosque Pehuén was incorporated as a monitoring area of CONAF, as Araucaria araucana samples have been shown to thrive in the reserve. It has served as a privileged site in sample collection and analysis of the DFA, as well as in identifying its causing agents, pathogenic functions and metabolism in specific trees.

Initial results indicate that the DFA could be present in 93% of the araucaria trees in the area, including in Bosque Pehuén. The main cause is the excessive and rapid growth of the fungus phytophthora that develops in an imprecise way due to an imbalance in the vascular system of the trees, in turn caused by the drought affecting the region. A range of factors are responsible, but all indicate that the araucaria has been damaged by the presence of climate change.