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The spread of Phytophthora cinnamomi by feral Pigs

Li, A.Y., Williams, N., Adams, P.J., Fenwick, S. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2010) The spread of Phytophthora cinnamomi by feral Pigs. In: 5th IUFRO Phytophthora Diseases in Forests and Natural Ecosystems, 7 - 12 March, Auckland and Rotorua, New Zealand.

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    Abstract

    Feral pigs have long been implicated as vectors in the spread of the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. The wallowing and rooting activities of feral pigs predispose them to the transport of infested soil. These activities not only disturb the soil structure but also reduce leaf litter and vegetation cover which can lead to an increased susceptibility of an area to colonisation with P. cinnamomi. The non-fastidious diet and use of rub and tusk trees by feral pigs may also represent an avenue of pathogen spread. However, there is very little evidence to support these ideas.

    Replicated feeding trials using P. cinnamomi inoculated millet seed, fine roots and pine have shown that the pathogen can survive passage through the pig gut, in some instances for up to seven days before being passed. The study is also investigating the home range of pigs within the forest and potential distances over which spread is likely to occur. The controlled experiments and field work from this research will be presented and the implications for the management of feral pig populations as an important component of P. cinnamomi management will be discussed.

    Publication Type: Conference Item
    Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
    School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
    Notes: Conference abstract
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3276
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