Researchers fear spread of invasive disease could be disastrous for Australia’s diverse plant life and are calling for urgent national response

An invasive fungus attacking some of Australia’s most ecologically important tree species has spread to Western Australia while also flourishing in damp conditions along the country’s east, driving a “silent extinction” and prompting urgent calls for a national response.

Experts warn if the myrtle rust fungus detected in the east Kimberley reaches the state’s biodiversity-rich south-west, the consequences could be disastrous for those ecosystems.

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