Plantation forests of Australian hardwood species in South-East Asia now exceed 7M ha. The viability of these plantations is increasingly threatened by diseases and in some areas by pests. Due to tree mortality, growth rates of Acacia mangium in Sumatra in those areas impacted by fungal diseases (Ganoderma and Ceratocystis) have been reduced to less than 15 m3/ha/yr, while non-impacted areas have growth rates in the range of 22 to 35 m3/ha/yr. In both Vietnam and Malaysia, Ceratocystis is considered an extreme threat, with up to 20% damage in some acacia plantations in Vietnam.
The project aims to reduce the impacts of current productivity limiting diseases of Acacia plantations and build capacity and collaboration on forest health in Indonesia, Vietnam and neighbouring SE Asian countries.
The three main objectives are:
- To reduce the impact associated with Ganoderma root rot disease in A. mangium plantations.
- To reduce the impact associated with Ceratocystis canker and wilt disease in A. mangium plantations.
- To build capacity in forest pathology and forest health management within SE Asia.
Expected outputs will include:
- Acacia germplasm tolerant to Ceratocystis
- Effective biocontrol system for Ganoderma
- Scientific papers on disease biology,
- Workshop Proceedings including a manual demonstrating the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sensor data to forest health management,
- Instructional videos translated into local languages