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Is Mycosphaerella a threat to the Eucalyptus estate in Western Australia? A bio-geographical perspective

Maxwell, A., Dell, B., Hardy, G.E.St.J. and Jackson, S.L. (2003) Is Mycosphaerella a threat to the Eucalyptus estate in Western Australia? A bio-geographical perspective. In: 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology: Solving problems in the real world, (ICPP 2003), 2 - 7 February, Christchurch; New Zealand.


Eucalypts form a valuable and diverse resource in Australia. Recent shifts in forestry practice away from the harvest of native eucalypt forest to the establishment of monocultures of eucalypts in plantations has serious implications for the exchange of pathogens between these ecosystems. In Western Australia, the exotic Eucalyptus globulus spp. globulus is planted on ex-pasture sites, resulting in a patchwork of plantation monoculture amidst farmland and forests of endemic eucalypts. There is a need to determine the occurrence and abundance of pathogens in plantation and endemic eucalypt forest in order to assess the potential exchange of disease inoculum and outbreaks between indigenous forest and exotic plantations. This survey of 30 plantation and 30 native eucalypt forest locations compares the distribution, host range and impact of Mycosphaerella species causing foliage disease in Western Australia. Mycosphaerella cryptica was the most widespread pathogen and had the broadest host range, occurring on E. diversicolor, E. gobulus, E. jacksonii, and E. marginata but not on Corymbia calophylla. A new species is recorded on E. diversicolor, M. stellare nom prov. A further ten species of Mycosphaerella were only recorded on E. globulus. Of these, M. nubilosa was the most widespread causing disease in 100% of plantations surveyed. The remaining species are listed in order of decreasing abundance: M. marksii, M. gregaria, M. parva, M. suberosa, M. lateralis, M. aurantia sp. nov., M. ambiphylla sp. nov. and M. mexicana. Disease impacts were greatest in E. globulus plantations, with up to75-1 00% juvenile leaf defoliation.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Horticulture Australia
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