Moth invade Lebanon's pine trees (Mohammed Zaatari /The Daily Star)
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BEIRUT: The stone pine, a steady feature of Lebanon's landscape for generations, has recently come under renewed threat from invasive insects that are affecting a staple of Lebanese cuisine: the pine nut. While some ailing pines exhibit symptoms of dying branches, others have succumbed to "Dry Cone Syndrome," leaving pine cones empty of their lucrative seed.Dry Cone Syndrome was officially confirmed in 2013, according to Nemer who has researched insects and diseases in Lebanese forests since 1999 . While both branch-death and DCS were found in mountainous regions of Lebanon, the capital's Horsh Beirut park has also been affected. One invasive insect species, Leptoglossus occidentalis or Western conifer seed bug, started appearing in Lebanon between 2012 and 2013, Nemer said, causing low pine-nut yields. Additionally, wood borers are causing tree dieback.
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