Forest dieback is one of the biggest threats facing our native bush, and human activity is responsible for its spread. Tools developed to contain and control dieback in Western Australia (WA) are now being used to combat it worldwide.
Phytophthora dieback is caused by the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi (‘plant killer’ in Greek). It is a major threat to Australia’s native vegetation and dependent wildlife, as well as to many agricultural crops and 花园的植物. It has been recognised by the Commonwealth as a ‘key threatening process’ to Australia’s biodiversity.
It spreads through the movement of infected water and soil, especially by human activity.
More than 40 per cent of Western Australian native plants are susceptible to the disease (approximately 2,300独特的物种), and over one million hectares is already infected in WA, 尤其是在西南部, 世界上有35个生物多样性 热点. Phytophthora dieback is also having a serious impact in other parts of Australia, and is of increasing concern in every continent except Antarctica.
Phytophthora dieback affects more than plants; is also a direct threat to native wildlife. Changing vegetation structure irrevocably alters the habitats that provide food and shelter for marsupials, 鸟, 爬行动物和昆虫.
默多克 Centre for Phytophthora 科学 and Management (CPSM) have developed strategies to limit the spread of Phytophthora since the early 1990s, with a particular focus on minimising its transmission by human activities. 他们推荐的检疫, hygiene and work practices are now preventing the transport of infected soil and water across south-west Western Australia, 越来越多的世界各地.
与主要矿业公司合作(e.g. 美国铝业的澳大利亚, Worsley Alumina, Iluka Resources and Tronox Ltd), CPSM's dieback management practices have changed mine planning and operating practice, giving companies access to areas they may not have otherwise
能够开采, 改善他们的康复记录, and helping maintain their social license to operate.
更一般的, the CPSM has addressed many aspects of Phytophthora control and eradication, including reviewing the National Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback, and creating the ‘Review of best practice management for Phytophthora cinnamomi’, now cited internationally as a guideline to Phytophthora management.
贾尔斯哈迪教授, 领导CPSM, says 'the savings to industries across Australia runs into hundreds of millions of dollars, and preserving healthy ecosystems is priceless'.