Phytophthora Stream Monitoring
Western Washington is a “high risk” area for diseases caused by P. ramorum and other Phytophthora species because of favorable environmental conditions and the abundance of susceptible host plants in wildland and urban areas.
The spread of P. ramorum into the landscape could trigger a series of quarantines that would have a significant economic impact on the horticulture and forest products industry.
Stream monitoring programs have been shown to be an effective approach to detect the spread of P. ramorum and focus eradication efforts, thus reducing the threat to our forest ecosystems and economy.
Our program has collaborated with the Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR) and the Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to monitor for the emergence of Phytophthora ramorum in western Washington since 2003. Initial surveys were conducted widely by WA DNR from 2003-2010. These surveys revealed a few waterways contaminated with P. ramorum and allowed the State to identify the sources, such as adjacent plant nurseries, to prevent the spread into the natural areas.
Since those initial surveys, our program has worked with communities in western Washington to develop a Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program. The aim of the program is to monitor for the emergence of P. ramorum and other potentially invasive Phytophthora species in streams throughout western Washington. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.
Following the findings of P. ramorum in waterways, our program has also conducted research to assess the movement of invasive plant diseases between forests, nurseries, and restoration sites and describe the variation and patterns of spread by using population genetics.
The Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program is a citizen science initiative to engage Washington residents in our research and monitoring efforts.
Anyone is welcome to participate.
Click on the pictures below for PDF versions of presentations or posters summarizing the methods and results of the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program and the efforts of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Additional information pertinent to Washington’s industries is available on the WSDA Website.