Geoff Pegg (QDAF) and crew have just finished a two-year study, concluding the impacts of Myrtle Rust on regeneration of native species following fire can be severe, leading to death of many species and potential loss of ecosystem function. Impact from A. psidii infection was identified on all species monitored as part of this study. Impacts ranged from minor leaf spotting, periods of shoot and foliage dieback to reshoot and whole tree death. Flowering was also impacted, particularly the Melaleuca species, M. nodosa and M. quinquenervia. The level of impact and the duration of infection differed significantly between species assessed. Post fire recovery of M. nodosa was severely impacted by myrtle rust with repeated infection resulting in dieback, reduced flowering and death, particularly the small tree form. Only a few trees within the sites assessed produced multiple flowers/seed capsules. The influence of this reduced flowering rate on pollination processes is unknown as is the viability of seed produced on trees showing field tolerance.
Read the full summary or access the Final Report here for more detail.