Quantifying the distribution and threat of Phytophthora cinnamomi in New South Wales: implications for its management in natural vegetation

  • Phytophthora cinnamomi is an oomycete (water mould) with a large host range. It infects plants through their roots and in some cases will kill them. The pathogen is readily dispersed in soil and water, over short distances by its swimming spores and over large distances by humans. While Phytophthora cinnamomi has been well-studied in other parts of Australia, its distribution and impact are poorly known in New South Wales (NSW). In the current study we compiled existing data on Phytophthora cinnamomi occurrence and filled spatial gaps in sampling. We found about 1000 records of Phytophthora cinnamomi presence in over 5000 tests of soil and root material, and collected a further 457 samples from areas where no sampling had previously been done. The resulting data set enabled modelling of Phytophthora cinnamomi habitat suitability using the software program MaxEnt with climate and soil spatial layers. We found that coastal areas and adjacent tablelands were most suitable for the pathogen, although some areas within that may be unsuitable because of soil properties. We then modelled assets (threatened species) potentially affected by Phytophthora cinnamomi to produce a layer of risk. Using projected climate layers, we found that habitat suitability and risk will decline in parts of northern NSW by 2070 but be amplified in the south. New susceptible species in places such as the Australian Alps are likely to be exposed to the pathogen in the future. We offer advice for managing Phytophthora cinnamomi in NSW. Management is difficult where the effects of this pathogen are often inconspicuous and its distribution is widespread. However, basic hygiene to limit spread to susceptible assets will have great benefit regardless.

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Author:Keith L McDougall, Edward CY Liew
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/02/24
Page Number:29
First Page:153
Last Page:181
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 20 (2020)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht