Healthy natural environments provide a range of direct and indirect benefits to the community, in addition to the intrinsic value of biodiversity. The disease caused by the introduced plant root pathogen, Phytophthora cinnamomi, threatens these values and benefits. This disease is often difficult to detect and its impact may be significant before it is detected. Depending upon environmental conditions and plant susceptibility, the pathogen can destroy vegetation communities. Phytophthora cinnamomi threatens several plant species with extinction.
The disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi is listed as key threatening processes under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EBPC Act). A threat abatement plan (TAP) has been prepared to provide a national strategy to manage the impact on biodiversity.
The Department has commissioned research into natural and induced resistance in Australian native vegetation of Phytophthora cinnamomi and innovative methods to contain and/or eradicate within localised incursions in areas of high biodiversity in Australia via the following three reports.
- Enhancing the efficacy of phosphite with the addition/supplementation of other chemicals such as those known to be involved in resistance - May 2008
- Does the physiological status of the plant at the time of spraying affect the efficacy of phosphite? - May 2008
- Eradication of Phytophthora cinnamomi from spot infections in native plant communities in Western Australia and Tasmania - May 2008