Bioclimatic analysis of the distribution of damage to native plants in Tasmania by Phytophthora cinnamomi



Climatic profiles were generated by the computer program BIOCLIM for three sets of sites in native vegetation in Tasmania: (i) 308 sites at which Phytophthora cinnamomi was isolated from diseased plants Pc+ ive; (ii) 322 sites in healthy plant communities from which P. cinnamomi could not be recovered Pc−ive; and (iii) 801 sites representing the climatic range across Tasmania. A discriminatory analysis comparing the first and third sets indicated that seven of the 16 climatic indices available for analysis were good discriminators of the distribution of damage by P. cinnamomi. The analysis suggests that damage to native vegetation due to P. cinnamomi is unlikely on sites where annual mean temperature does not exceed 7.5°C or annual mean rainfall is < 600 mm. Two maps were produced to indicate those areas of Tasmania that have climates suited to damaging interaction between P. cinnamomi and native vegetation. The first was based on those sites that had annual mean temperature more than 7.5°C and annual mean rainfall less than 600 mm. The second included those sites that matched the values of the Pc+ ive set for all seven good discriminators. The two approaches produced similar results. Areas in which even the most favourable microsites are unlikely to support pathogenic activity by P. cinnamomi constitute less than 20% of the land area. Twelve substantial areas of native vegetation that occur in climates suited to infection by P. cinnamomi. but for which no record of the fungus exists, have been identified.