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A conceptual model to describe the decline of European blackberry (Rubus anglocandicans), a weed of national significance in Australia

Aghighi, S., Fontanini, L., Yeoh, P.B., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I.ORCID: 0000-0002-7962-219X and Scott, J.K. (2014) A conceptual model to describe the decline of European blackberry (Rubus anglocandicans), a weed of national significance in Australia. Plant Disease, 98 (5). pp. 580-589.

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Human activities have had an adverse impact on ecosystems on a global scale and have caused an unprecedented redispersal of organisms, with both plants and pathogens moving from their regions of origin to other parts of the world. Invasive plants are a potential threat to ecosystems globally, and their management costs tens of billions of dollars per annum. Rubus anglocandicans (European blackberry) is a serious invasive species in Australia. Herbicide and cultural control methods are generally inefficient or require multiple applications. Therefore, a biological control program using stem and leaf rust strains is the main option in Australia. However, biological control using rusts has been patchy, as host factors, climate, and weather can alter the impact of the rust at different locations. In 2007, Yeoh and Fontanini noticed that blackberry plants on the banks of the Donnelly and Warren rivers in the southwest of Western Australia were dying in areas that were being regularly monitored for the impact of rust as a biological control agent. The symptoms on blackberry became known as the disease “blackberry decline”. Continuous and intensive investigations are required to discover the different biotic and abiotic components associated with specific declines in plant populations. The only agent so far introduced to Australia for the biological control of blackberry is the rust Phragmidium violaceum.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
Publisher: The American Phytopathological Society
Copyright: © 2014 The American Phytopathological Society
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