In July 2022 DPIRDWA released an Alert -the fungus Austropuccinia psidii was detected on two species of paperbark in the East Kimberley. Join us for a Kimberley Weeds Network Online Mini Forum presented by Mariana Campos, a research scientist at CSIRO who is currently sitting on the WA and national Myrtle rust working groups.
Myrtle rust is a fungus that causes disease in Myrtaceae species. The further spread of Myrtle rust is a severe threat to Myrtaceae plants and the animals that depend on them. Mariana will give us an update on the Myrtle Rust incursion in the Kimberley.
Myrtaceae or the Myrtle family includes clove, guava and allspice trees; and Kimberley genera such as Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Melaleuca, Lophostemon, Syzygium, Calytrix and Verticordia. These plants are typically evergreen trees and shrubs that have leaves with oil containing glands as well as flowers with reduced petals and prominent stamens. Myrtle rust is of great concern as it not only threatens so many amazing Australian plants individually but will cause wholesale change to ecosystems, as these plants form the backbone of the vegetation across so much of Australia. For example, just the genus Eucalyptus is the defining component of 77% of Australia’s native forest area.
In the interim, please read this Myrtle rust fact sheet released by DPIRD and DBCA.
Photo: Dr Louise Morin