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Symptoms of stress and decline of Corymbia ficifolia in urban and natural environments in Western Australia

Yulia, E., Dell, B., Hardy, G. and Barber, P. (2011) Symptoms of stress and decline of Corymbia ficifolia in urban and natural environments in Western Australia. In: Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology (AASPP) and the Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference, 26 - 29 April, Darwin, Australia.

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Corymbia ficifolia is a widely planted amenity tree worldwide. Recently, the species has been observed to be in decline in urban environments. This study investigated the causes of the decline in 246 trees in roadsides/median islands, parks, streets within residential areas in five urban areas in the City of Melville, 77 trees on the Murdoch University campus, and 82 trees in other urban areas and in its natural habitat in south‐western Australia. Tree diameter, height, and canopy/crown densities ranged from 5.5‐104.1 cm, 2.4‐18 m and 5‐100%, respectively. Most adult trees in urban areas suffered from canker disease caused by Quambalaria coyrecup which was commonly associated with branch flagging and dieback. No canker symptoms were found in natural stands of C. ficifolia. Occurrence of canker, dieback, flagging, and foliar diseases across all sites ranged from 0‐80%; 26.6‐80%; 4.7‐57.1%; and 29.2‐100%, respectively. Foliar symptoms caused by biotic and abiotic causal agents were also present. Whilst leaf disease is widespread, stem cankers are of major concern in larger trees. The health and structural condition of trees were scored and correlation among tree parameters with disease presence was assessed. Some diseases were common on C. ficifolia at a particular plant growth stage or in particular areas. The research indicates that disease problems in urban C. ficifolia trees are common and that more than one causal agent is responsible.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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