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Integrating Resource Management

Phytophthora (Dieback)

Since the discovery of Phytophthora cinnamomi there have been a number of methodologies and strategies utilised to prevent and or reduce the spread of the fungus. Although none have been successful in preventing or eradicating the spread of the disease, some methods have proved to be successful in the way of reducing the spread. There is a need for more research into this topic to develop a method to eliminate this problem, which is of national significance in Australia. 

After analysis of a number of literature papers and scientific reports based onPhytophthora cinnamomi, including the 30-year study report in Victoria, it was found that increasing the amount of micro-organisms and organic matter in the infected soil area helps reduce the spread of the disease. The key question here is how to do this in large areas of land in a cost efficient and manageable way. Therefore, the aim of this research project will be to establish new and efficient methods to increase soil microbial activity and soil organic matter. This will take into consideration the results derived from previous efforts.  Hence, it is important to understand micro-organisms that inhabit the soil and what purpose they have, as well as the techniques utilised in detecting a Phytophthora cinnamomiinfested site. 

Without ‘re-inventing the wheel’ this project will take on a systematic approach to further current researched methods and knowledge about the fungus, with the ultimate goal of establishing a preventative measure.