Phytophthora cinnamomi, or more commonly known as Dieback, is a type of water mould that attacks the roots of the plant and causes them to rot. This kills the plant by preventing the uptake of water and nutrients. It spreads naturally by the movement of spores in water or by root-to-root contact. Dieback can spread at the rate of one metre each year on flat ground, though this is increased considerably by human activity.
Banksia and Jarrah plant communities are most susceptible to the effects of Dieback.
Dieback is not killed by water. Therefore washing down of footwear, equipment or vehicles must use a disinfectant such as methylated spirits, bleach or products such as Phytoclean.
Widespread testing for Dieback has not been conducted on the Swan Coastal Plain and therefore it must be assumed that sites may contain the disease and that vehicles can transport it to and from a site. Testing is usually restricted on a site by site basis so a precautionary approach should be taken.
There are simple precautions that can be undertaken to prevent the spread of Dieback.
Reduce activities to fine weather, as this will reduce the risk of contaminated soil being transported from infected to non-infected areas on shoes or other means.
Stay on designated driving tracks and walking trails
Do not remove plants or soil from the reserve to other areas. Also do not dump soil or plants into the reserve.
You will see signs in the corridor regarding cleaning footwear and helping to prevent the spread of Dieback. Please follow them.