Mu­tual ben­e­fits

Hills Gazette - - NEWS -

PERTH re­searchers have found two na­tive species are help­ing each other sur­vive: quenda and tu­art trees.

Re­search from Murdoch and ECU has found fun­gal spores in mar­su­pi­als’ drop­pings are in­fect­ing the trees’ roots, in­creas­ing their abil­ity to draw mois­ture and nu­tri­ents from the soil.

In re­cent years, en­vi­ron­men­tal man­agers and con­ser­va­tion­ists have been con­cerned about the trees’ de­clin­ing health, most no­tably af­ter the col­lapse of 500ha of tu­art wood­land in the heat event of 2011.

The main fac­tors iden­ti­fied in­clude cli­mate change and dry­ing soils.

One of the quen­das’ main foods are fungi, whose spores are dis­persed in their drop­pings and then in­fect tu­art roots.

Have a mile­stone? Tell us at: hillsgazette@com­mu­ni­

Pic­ture: Narelle Dy­bing

A quenda survey found most sight­ings in Kala­munda, Goose­berry Hill and Mun­dar­ing.

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