Phytophthora Management Guidelines

Dieback of native Australian flora species caused by a variety of species of root-rot fungus, particularly Phytophthora cinnamomi, is a major threat to some of Australia’s native plants, animals and ecological communities.

Once an area is infected with Phytophthora, eradication is not possible. However, well-developed management plans can assist in containing the disease and preventing further spread to uninfected areas.

Phytophthora produces a mass of thread-like filaments (mycelia) that can be transported to new hosts via soil or infected plant material. Under warm, moist conditions, Phytophthora reproduces via microscopic fruiting bodies that produce spores. Some spore types move through the soil in ground water and surface water and infect susceptible plants. Others are hard-coated, easily withstanding long periods of dry conditions and surviving in soil and in dead plant tissue for many years, to germinate when conditions are favourable.

Any movement of soil and / or plant material has the potential to spread Phytophthora to new areas.

Birds SA recognises the importance to our natural heritage of containing and minimising the spread of Phytophthora. As a group whose members frequently move between and through areas of remnant bushland we understand the need to manage infected areas, to protect the remaining uninfected sites and to minimise the risk of them becoming infected.

To this end we have adopted a set of guidelines to minimise the chance of Phytophthora being spread as a result of Birds SA field activities. This set of guidelines is based on the Phytophthora Management Guidelines developed in South Australia by the Phytophthora Technical Group (2006).