Phytophthora Root Rot has infected
the area to the left, resulting in
the loss of grasstrees
Phytophthora root rot is a fungus that attacks the roots of susceptible plants, in many cases killing the plants. In some native plant communities, epidemic disease can develop causing the death of large numbers of plants.
The fungus is now well established in many areas of moorland, heathland and dry eucalypt forest in Tasmania. It has the potential to significantly alter the ecology of these vegetation types. Some threatened plants species in Tasmania are known to be declining as a result of phytophthora root rot and more threatened species could also be affected should the fungus be introduced to their populations.
Phytophthora root rot may spread with the movement of infected soil or plant material by people or animals and may be transported by water perculating through the soil or in creeks. People can transport the fungus to new areas on dirt adhereing to vehicles, items they are carrying or footwear.
The Parks and Wildlife Service is acting to minimise the impact of phytophthora root rot. Where possible, controls that restrict the spread of the fungus in reserves are being put in place. These controls include installation of washdown stations for public use on some walking tracks and application of hygiene prescriptions for track maintenance and other developments. Details of how to minimise the spread of the fungus are available on our Leave No Trace web pages - a set of guiding principles that help minimise our impact on the places we visit.
The Department of Primary Industries and Water's web site has detailed information on Phytophthora root rot.