Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by



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Objective 2: Protect priority biodiversity assets through reducing the spread and mitigating the impacts of Phytophthora cinnamomi

To direct the limited resources available for implementing threat abatement activities to the greatest benefit, this TAP directs action to safeguard priority biodiversity assets from the spread of P. cinnamomi both to them and within them. It also directs action to mitigate the impacts of P. cinnamomi on priority biodiversity assets.



Action

Responsible party

Priority

Timeframe

Performance indicators

Action 2.1

Assess the appropriateness of registration of phosphite for management of P. cinnamomi in natural ecosystem contexts.

If appropriate and feasible, initiate registration by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Management Authority.


State and territory governments

High priority

Short term

Phosphite is assessed for its appropriateness to be registered as a control method for Phytophthora dieback in natural systems.

Required research is identified and conducted for registration (if appropriate).

Process for registration of phosphite for national use in natural ecosystem contexts has commenced (if appropriate).


Action 2.2

Implement control actions to protect priority biodiversity assets (as identified under Objective 1) from the impacts of P. cinnamomi.



Australian Government and state, territory and local governments

High priority


Ongoing

Quarantine and hygiene measures for priority biodiversity assets are implemented during the life of this TAP.

Where suitable eradication, containment or control methods are applicable, these are implemented throughout the life of this TAP (e.g. eradicate small infestations to protect high value healthy catchments).



Ex situ conservation of species at risk is undertaken at appropriate facilities that manage the risk of P. cinnamomi introduction.

Action 2.3

Develop and implement practices to minimise the inadvertent spread of P. cinnamomi to priority biodiversity assets.



Australian Government, state, territory and local governments and relevant industries conducting high-risk activities (e.g. forestry, garden/nursery, road construction, recreation, mining and tourism)

High priority

Short term and ongoing

Risk reduction plans (prevention, impact reduction, containment, stakeholder engagement, communication materials including signage, monitoring) for priority protection areas and biodiversity assets are prepared.

Implement a voluntary certification scheme Australia-wide for high risk materials such as nursery materials, soils, quarry products and road and track building material.

Pathogen-tested raw materials, compliant with a best practice certification scheme, are used in high-risk infestation pathways such as soil and nursery materials.


Action 2.4

Integrate management of P. cinnamomi with other natural resource management systems.



Australian Government and state and territory governments

Medium priority

Medium term

State and territory governments have adopted integrated hygiene procedures for works in native vegetation to manage pests, weeds and disease risks.

P. cinnamomi management is integrated with other compatible land management programs such as revegetation, fire, weed and pest management and road maintenance programs.

Action 2.5

Prepare guidelines to minimise risks from P. cinnamomi arising from Australian Government environment funding programs.



Australian Government

High Priority

Medium term

Guidelines to minimise risks from P. cinnamomi arising from Australian Government environment funding programs are developed and communicated within 12 months of making this TAP.

Objective 3: Communication and training

Many people are unaware of the significance of P. cinnamomi and the ways it can be spread. Ongoing delivery of awareness and capacity building programs in natural resource management at national, state and regional level can make a significant contribution to national implementation of the TAP.

In order to inform and empower stakeholders, particularly land managers and land users, to take actions that collectively minimise the spread and reduce the impacts of P. cinnamomi it is necessary to effectively communicate:

• the approach adopted in this TAP

• the scale of the threat to biodiversity posed by P. cinnamomi

• the priority biodiversity assets that need protection

• information for land managers, recreational users, ecotourism operators and other stakeholders on the tools and practices that will minimise the inadvertent spread of P. cinnamomi

• the necessity for land managers in conservation, forestry, horticulture, agriculture, and water resources to be trained to an appropriate level in the science and management of P. cinnamomi

• the need for integration of P. cinnamomi management, education and training with other natural resource management activities.

A number of networks of conservation groups and researchers with an interest in P. cinnamomi already exist. Networks such as the Dieback Working Group, Project Dieback in Western Australia, Leave No Trace Australia and the Australian Network for Plant Conservation can assist in communicating developments in the management of P. cinnamomi, host susceptibility and other issues. The appointment of a Dieback Coordinator to relevant local government areas may also assist in providing guidance and coordination for dieback matters at the local and regional scale.



Action

Responsible party

Priority

Timeframe

Performance indicators

Action 3.1

Determine stakeholders, key messages and the most efficient means of communicating with stakeholders on issues relating to P. cinnamomi impacts on priority biodiversity assets.



Australian Government and state and territory governments

High priority

Medium term and ongoing

Effective communication actions are progressed during the life of the TAP.

Research and other findings are assessed, documented and communicated to stakeholders.



Action 3.2

Build awareness and develop and provide training for industry, land and tourism managers, peak organisations (recreation and outdoor education) and recreation clubs and societies.



Australian Government, state and territory governments and industry

Medium priority

Short term and ongoing

Training material on the methodologies involved in detection, diagnosis and management of P. cinnamomi are developed or updated, as required and made available. This material is then integrated into training associated with land planning and management, and biodiversity conservation.

Industry-specific codes of practice for the management of P. cinnamomi are readily available and implemented by the proponents of activities in high-risk areas and high-value sites, including: supply of nursery materials; transporting of soil; quarrying; road and track building; land restoration; natural area recreation such as bushwalking, motorised recreation, fishing, hunting and mountain-biking; agriculture and horticulture; and the disposal of P. cinnamomi infested material.



Action 3.3

Ensure that guidelines, including codes of practice and standard operating procedures, for managing P. cinnamomi are available to key stakeholders and are implemented, reviewed and updated.



Australian Government and state, territory and local governments

High priority

Ongoing

Up to date guidelines, including codes of practice and standard operating procedures, are available electronically and in hard copy to key stakeholders and reviewed in terms of their effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

Action 3.4

Develop or adopt a national system of signage and alerts to guide park visitors and land managers in affected priority areas.



Australian Government and state, territory and local governments

Medium priority

Medium term

A national system of signage and alerts using standardised placement requirements and terminology is available for use in managing P. cinnamomi in priority areas.

Action 3.5

Acquire and maintain up to date information on P. cinnamomi and the progress of the TAP.



Australian Government

Medium priority

Ongoing

The Department of the Environment website holds and maintains up to date information reflecting the achievements against TAP actions.

The Department of the Environment hosts a forum with key stakeholders to assist in implementation of the plan and to review achievements of the plan.

The Department of the Environment reviews research actions, disseminates new information and promotes the uptake of findings.


Research actions

Research will contribute to informing the implementation of the objectives of this plan through improving our understanding of the pathogen and developing control and restoration techniques.



Action

Responsible party

Priority

Timeframe

Performance indicators

Research action 1

Encourage new partnerships (e.g. through the Australian Research Council or forestry, mining and nursery industries) to support the funding of research relating to the management of P. cinnamomi (and other Phytophthora species).



Australian Government, state and territory governments, research organisations and industry

High priority

Ongoing

Partnerships are initiated within 12 months of this TAP being made.

Research action 2

Increase understanding of factors affecting pathogen distribution and expression (including climate change).



Australian Government, state and territory governments, research organisations and industry

Medium priority

Medium term

Material on factors affecting pathogen distribution and expression is published.

Further research is conducted into the mechanisms of spread and survival of P. cinnamomi, assessing its long term direct and indirect impacts in the range of priority ecosystems it affects.



Research action 3

Undertake susceptibility/natural resistance screening of priority species.



State and territory governments, research organisations and industry

Medium priority

Medium term

Susceptibility screening of priority species is undertaken at appropriate facilities using plant material from ex situ programs (where available).

Infested sites are monitored for resistant individuals or populations to enable the sourcing of material for resistance screening.



Research action 4

Develop improved techniques for rapid diagnosis of P. cinnamomi infestation, e.g. building on existing efforts for detection via water sampling, testing large volumes of soil (or quarried material) or remote methods such as use of digital multi-spectral imagery.



State and territory governments, research organisations and industry

Very high priority

Medium term

Rapid diagnosis systems for identifying P. cinnamomi infestations are evaluated for use in natural ecosystems.

Cost effective and accurate methods for the rapid diagnosis of P. cinnamomi species are available.



Research action 5

Assess current disease management practices and explore scope for improvement.



Australian Government, state and territory governments and research organisations

High priority

Medium term

Methods to eradicate P. cinnamomi from small, infested sites are identified and assessed for their relative efficacy.

The efficacy of phosphite in the control of P. cinnamomi across a range of susceptible ecological communities is determined.

The effects of phosphite on non-target species are identified.

Alternatives to phosphite for controlling P. cinnamomi are identified and their relative efficacy assessed. This may include, but is not limited to: potential biocontrol options and other chemicals to augment/supplement phosphate.

The efficacy of hygiene protocols for controlling disease spread are assessed and implementation improved (this could include the efficacy of implementation practices).


Research action 6

Undertake further (new) research into efficient and cost effective (nationally applicable) techniques for:

• eradication methods for soil types other than porous soils (for which a method exists)

• management of impact through transferring resistant genes into taxa that show little resistance to P. cinnamomi.



Australian Government, state and territory governments and research organisations

High priority

Ongoing

Collaborative applied research projects are undertaken to test and improve eradication and species resistance.

Research action 7

Develop methods for restoration of priority sites that are degraded by P. cinnamomi.



Australian Government, state and territory governments and research organisations

Medium priority

Ongoing

Novel restoration and revegetation techniques for priority sites degraded by P. cinnamomi are developed over the life of this TAP, using resistant plant species.

Resistant species that may provide structure and food sources for priority species are introduced into impacted priority areas.



Research action 8

Establish repositories for collections of P. cinnamomi cultures and nationally available standards for collection and analysis of P. cinnamomi samples, in order to facilitate research on the genetic basis of resistance and genetic diversity of P. cinnamomi.



Australian Government, state and territory governments and research organisations

Medium priority

Medium term

Cultures of P. cinnamomi are able to be tested against samples available through a complete and accessible national repository for cultures of P. cinnamomi isolated from natural ecosystems.

National standard methods are used by laboratories for the collection and analysis of soil, plant and water samples for the presence of P. cinnamomi.


3. Duration, Review, Funding and Implementation

3.1 Duration and review of the plan

Section 279 of the EPBC Act provides for the review of this TAP at any time and requires that it be reviewed by the Minister at intervals of no longer than five years. During the life of the TAP, the Minister’s scientific advisory committee (the Threatened Species Scientific Committee), will be provided with updates of actions taken under this TAP to aid them in advising the Minister on the effectiveness of the TAP in abating the key threatening process.

3.2 Funding and implementation

It is important to note that TAPs are not linked directly to any Australian Government funding programs. Each financial year, the Australian Government funds TAP development and implementation as part of a broader budget outcome related to biodiversity conservation (www.environment.gov.au/about/publications/budget/index.html). The Department of the Environment allocates its annual budget to a range of competing biodiversity conservation priorities. The budget provided by The Department of the Environment for the implementation of individual TAPs may vary from year to year as a range of biodiversity conservation priorities are addressed.

The total cost of implementing this TAP cannot be quantified at the time of its writing. Projects that are to be undertaken by the Australian Government will need to be procured in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. The cost of individual projects will not be accurately known until a process to test the market (for example to obtain quotes or tenders for those projects) has been undertaken.

The Australian Government recognises that the capacity of each state or territory government to implement this TAP will be dependent on the resources of that state or territory and the methods of implementation they choose to adopt.

The mining, tourism, horticulture and forestry industries have an interest in protecting biodiversity from the impacts of P. cinnamomi. Joint delivery of projects and/or corporate sponsorship from such groups for research and management should be encouraged.

P. cinnamomi occurs in dynamic and evolving cultural landscapes where customary rights and legal and land management changes acknowledge and enable customary activities to take place. Significant opportunities exist to engage and work with Indigenous organisations and custodians of country to achieve the objectives of this TAP.
4. Glossary and Abbreviations

Biodiversity

Variability among living organisms from all sources (including terrestrial, marine and other ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are part), which includes diversity within species and between species and diversity of ecosystems (Beeton et al., 2006).

Conservation dependent

A native species is eligible to be included in the conservation dependent category of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 at a particular time if, at that time the species is the focus of a specific conservation program the cessation of which would result in the species becoming vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

EPBC Act

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth legislation).

Eradication

Application of measures to eliminate an invasive alien species from a defined area.

Key threatening process

As defined in and listed under the EPBC Act a process that threatens or may threaten the survival, abundance or evolutionary development of a native species or ecological community.

Matters of national environmental significance

Under the EPBC Act, actions that have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance require approval from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment (the Minister). The Minister will decide whether assessment and approval is required under the EPBC Act.

The eight matters of national environmental significance protected under the EPBC Act are:

• world heritage properties

• national heritage places

• wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)

• listed threatened species and ecological communities

• migratory species protected under international agreements

• Commonwealth marine areas

• the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

• nuclear actions (including uranium mines).



Performance indicator

A criterion or measure that provides information on the extent to which a policy, program or initiative is achieving its outcomes.

Priority biodiversity asset

Includes matters of national environmental significance listed under the EPBC Act and other plants, animals and communities prioritised under Objective 1 of this TAP for protection or remediation.

Threat abatement plan

Under the EPBC Act (Section 268), a plan providing for the research, management, and any other actions necessary to reduce the impact of a listed key threatening process on a threatened species or ecological community.

Threatened species

Species under the EPBC Act listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or conservation dependent.

5. References

Aberton M, Wilson BA & Cahill DM 1999, ‘The use of phosphite as a control for Phytophthora cinnamomi in native vegetation at Anglesea, Victoria’, Australasian Plant Pathology, vol. 28, pp. 225–234.

Aberton MJ, Wilson BA, Hill J & Cahill DM 2003, ‘Phosphite controls Phytophthora cinnamomi at Anglesea and Wilson’s Promontory National Park, Victoria’, in Phytophthora in Forests and Natural Ecosystems: 2nd International IUFRO Working Party 7.02.09 Meeting, 30 September – 5 October, 2001, Albany, Western Australia.

Allan K & Gartenstein S 2010, Keeping it clean— A Tasmanian field hygiene manual to prevent the spread of freshwater pests and pathogens, NRM South, Hobart, Tasmania.

ANPC—see Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

ASBP—see Australian Seed Bank Partnership .

Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) 2009, Plant germplasm conservation in Australia: Strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising ex situ collections, Offord CA, Meagher PF (eds), p. 204.

Australian Seed Bank Partnership (ASBP) 2013, Ex situ collections of Australian flora threatened by Phytophthora cinnamomi, Australian Seed Bank Partnership report for the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, .

Barrett S, Shearer BL, Crane CE & Cochrane A 2008, ‘An extinction-risk-assessment tool for flora threatened by Phytophthora cinnamomi’, Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 56, pp. 477–486.

Beeton RJS, Buckley KI, Jones GJ, Morgan D, Reichelt RE & Trewin D 2006, Australia State of the Environment 2006, independent report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Brazier CM & Scott JK 1994, ‘European oak declines and global warming: a theoretical assessment with special reference to the activity of Phytophthora cinnamomi’, EPPO Bulletin, vol. 24, pp. 221–232.

Butcher TB, Stukely MJC & Chester GW 1984, ‘Genetic variation in resistance of Pinus radiata to Phytophthora cinnamomi’, Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 8, pp. 197–220.

Cahill DM, Rookes JE, Wilson BA, Gibson L & McDougall KL 2008, ‘Phytophthora cinnamomi and Australia’s biodiversity: impacts, predictions and progress towards control’, Turner Review no17, Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 56(4), pp. 279–310.

Commonwealth of Australia 2006, EPBC Act Policy Statement 1.1: Significant impact guidelines, .

Cooke DEL, Drenth A, Duncan JM, Wagels G & Brasier CM 2000, ‘A Molecular Phylogeny of Phytophthora and Related Oomycetes’, Fungal Genetics and Biology, vol. 30, pp. 17–32.

Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management (CPSM) 2013, Climate modelling to determine the impacts of Phytophthora cinnamomi under future climate scenarios, prepared for the Commonwealth Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities by the Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management, Murdoch University, Western Australia.

Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management (CPSM) 2006, Review and evaluation of the 2001 National threat abatement plan for dieback caused by the root-rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, prepared for the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage by the Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management, Murdoch University, Western Australia.

Conservation Commission of Western Australia 2005, Forrestdale Lake Nature Reserve management plan, prepared by the Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia, p. 63.

CPSM—see Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Bureau of Meteorology 2007–2012, Climate change in Australia—Technical report (website), p. 148, .

Crone M, McComb JA, O’Brien PA, & Hardy GEStJ 2012, ‘Annual and herbaceous perennial native Australian plant species are asymptomatic hosts of Phytophthora cinnamomi on black gravel sites in the Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah) forest of Western Australia’, Plant Pathology, vol. 62(5), pp. 1057–1062.

Crone M, McComb JA, O’Brien PA, & Hardy GEStJ 2013a, ‘Assessment of Australian native annual/herbaceous perennial plant species as asymptomatic or symptomatic hosts of Phytophthora cinnamomi under controlled conditions’, Forest Pathology, vol. 43, pp. 245–251.

Crone M, McComb JA, O’Brien PA & Hardy GEStJ 2013b, ‘Survival of Phytophthora cinnamomi as oospores, stromata and thick walled chlamydospores in roots of symptomatic and asymptomatic annual and herbaceous perennial plant species’, Fungal Biology, vol. 117 (2), pp. 112–123.

CSIRO—see Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

DEC—Department of Environment and Conservation (WA).

DECCW—see Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW).

Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW) 2010, Lord Howe Island Permanent Park Preserve plan of management.

Department of Environment and Conservation (WA) 2009, Ecological character description of the Lake Warden System Ramsar site: A report by the Department of Environment and Conservation, prepared by Watkins G, Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth, Western Australia.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2009, Draft Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, unpublished.

Dieback Working Group 2008, Managing Phytophthora dieback in bushland—a guide for landholders and community conservation groups, 4th edn, p. 42, .

Department the Environment 2013, Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT), .

Department of the Environment 2014, Background: Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, .

DPAW—see Department of Parks and Wildlife (WA); formerly the Department of Environment and Conservation (WA).

Dundas S, Hardy GEStJ & Fleming P 2013, ‘Flower visitation by honey possums (Tarsipes rostratus) in a coastal banksias heathland infested with the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi’, Australian Mammalogy, vol. 35(2), pp. 166–174.

Dunne CP, Crane CE, Lee M, Massenbauer T, Barret S, Comer S, Freebury GJC, Utbe DJ, Grant MJ & Shearer BL 2011, ‘A review of the catchment approach techniques used to manage a Phytophthora cinnamomi infestation of native plant communities of the Fitzgerald River National Park on the south coast of Western Australia’, New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science, vol. 41S, pp. 121–132.

Dunstan WA, Rudman T, Shearer B, Moore N, Paap T, Calver M, Dell B & Hardy GEStJ 2010, ‘Containment and spot eradication of a highly destructive, invasive plant pathogen (Phytophthora cinnamomi) in natural ecosystems’, Biological invasions, vol. 12(4), pp. 913–925.

Environment Australia 2001, Threat abatement plan for dieback caused by the root-rot fungus (Phytophthora cinnamomi), Environment Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

Garkaklis MJ, Calver MC, Wilson BA & Hardy GEStJ 2004, ‘Habitat alteration caused by an introduced plant disease, Phytophthora cinnamomi: a potential threat to the conservation of Australian forest fauna’, in Lunney D (ed), The Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna, 2nd edn, pp. 899–913, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, New South Wales.

Groves E, Hardy GEStJ & McComb J 2009a, Native garden plants resistant to dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi), Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, .

Groves E, Hardy GEStJ & McComb J 2009b, Western Australian natives resistant to Phytophthora cinnamomi, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, .

Hardham AR 2005, ‘Pathogen profile—Phytophthora cinnamomi’, Molecular Plant Pathology vol. 6(6), pp. 589–604.

Howard CG 2008, A contemporary study of the genetic variation of Phytophthora cinnamomi recovered from natural ecosystems of New South Wales, PhD thesis, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales.

Keith D, McDougall K, Simpson C & Walsh J 2011, Are there spatial patterns in threats posed by root rot disease, Phytophthora cinnamomi, in Royal National Park?, Linnaean Society of NSW.



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