Phytophthora (pronounced fy-TOFF-thora) is a silent killer in our midst with the potential to have devastating impacts on ecosystems. It is a water mould that survives in water, soil and plant roots and kills plants by attacking and rotting their roots. This killer can also impact on native animals, including marsupials, birds, reptiles and insects, by reducing or eliminating vegetation they rely on for survival.
This disease kills plants and infection is permanent. We can help by:
- Keeping it out
- Limiting the spread and
- Reducing the impact, using
- Quarantine and
- Treatment of infected plants.
Phytophthora is spread naturally in water and via infected roots, and faster and further by humans moving contaminated soil or plant material. It can remain dormant for long periods during dry weather and is virtually impossible to remove from infected areas. So we can only limit its spread by managing water and soil movement.
The five strategies approach below has been developed to manage Phytophthora Dieback in natural areas and is explained in our brochure, which is available to download. Use this strategy to understand the steps required to manage Phytophthora Dieback and the reference section for more details.
The five strategies are:
- Understand Phytophthora Dieback
- Assess for risk of disease
- Adjust work practices to reflect risk
- Inform all staff, contractors and visitors and
- Treat infections.
Further details are available in Management of Phytophthora cinnamomi for Biodiversity Conservation in Australia, a document prepared for the Department of Environment and Heritage in 2006.