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Phosphite application as an explorative tool for understanding and controlling Eucalpytus gomphocephala (tuart) decline in southwest Western Australia

Scott, P., Eslick, H., Barber, P., Calver, M., Shearer, B., Colquhoun, I. and Hardy, G. (2007) Phosphite application as an explorative tool for understanding and controlling Eucalpytus gomphocephala (tuart) decline in southwest Western Australia. In: 11th International Mediterranean Ecosystems (MEDECOS) Conference (2007), 2 - 5 September, Perth, Western Australia.

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Abstract

Introduction: Eucalyptus gomphocephala (tuart) is a Mediterranean key stone forest canopy species endemic to a narrow (5-10 km wide) coastal strip approximately 300 km in length in southwest Western Australia. The tuart is undergoing a significant decline that was first identified as a spot decline in 1991 and now occurs throughout large sections of its remnant distribution within Yalgorup National Park. The potential of phosphite (phosphonate), nutrient and insecticide treatments to reverse the decline in tree health was assessed as (a) a method for controlling the decline and (b) a method for diagnosing possible causal agents. Phosphite has been successfully used to control Phytophthora and Pythiaceous soil-borne plant pathogens by inducing a host defense response, inhibiting disease at concentrations only partially inhibitory to pathogen growth in vitro (Guest and Bompeix 1990). Recovery of declining tuart after phosphite application supports the possible role of these Pythiaceous organisms in the decline. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of nutrient, insecticide and phosphite application on the canopy condition of declining tuart, and to determine if Pythiaceous organisms are associated with the decline.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Notes: Extended abstract
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7113
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