Fire and rust: Impact of myrtle rust on post-fire regeneration. Update report

Date: 19, Aug, 2021
Author(s):   Geoff Pegg, Louise Shuey, Fiona Giblin, Rob Price, Peter Entwistle, Angus Carnegie, Alistair McTaggart, Jennifer Firn

Extensive surveys assessing the impact of myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) were conducted following the 2019-20 fire season. This report provides an update.

Surveys of fire-affected coastal and rainforest ecosystems were conducted in 2021 to examine the impacts of repeated A. psidii infection and assess species responses. New fire-affected areas on K’gari were assessed and this is the first report of A. psidii symptoms on Eucalyptus pilularis and Syncarpia hillii on the World Heritage sand island.  Regeneration of Melaleuca quinquenervia, particularly in New South Wales, is also of concern. Longer-term monitoring is required to determine the consequences of myrtle rust on this, and many other species.