Centre for Phytophthora Science & Management (CPSM)

Research Programs

The CPSM has four main research programs:

Program 1: Biology of Phytophthora cinnamomi in Ecosystems

P. cinnamomi is found in very varied vegetation types throughout the southwest of Western Australia. It is apparent that P. cinnamomi is an extremely 'plastic' organism whose biology and pathology changes with environmental conditions and host. We undertake many projected aimed at understanding the etiology of P. cinnamomi in these different plant communities, in horticulture and in rehabilitated mines.

Program 2: Disease Management

Integration of the most up to-date methods of disease detection, disease control and flora conservation techniques to provide management prescriptions that reduce the impact of the disease on native vegetation and conserve endangered communities and taxa at risk from diseases caused by Phytophthora spp.

Program 3: Conservation, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration

Western Australia is one of the world's most plant species rich regions with the south-west recognised as one of the worlds top 34 biodiversity hotspots. Many rare and threatened flora are susceptible to P. cinnamomi with a large number of other species locally threatened by P. cinnamomi. This programme assesses susceptibility and impact on flora and fauna, and develops strategies to conserve and restore susceptible plant species back into their natural habitats/ecosystems.

Program 4: Detection, Diagnosis, Mapping and Extension

Currently, there is a need to increase public awareness about Phytophthora and the disease it causes. In addition, it is recognized that in the future many of the funding agencies will want more community participation in research activities. Consequently, there needs to be more communication between research scientists, managers and community groups. This interfacing will require training in 'dieback' interpretation, hygiene practices and the application of phosphite. We work closely with the Dieback Working group in this space