Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Acacia decurrens
(green wattle)

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Datasheet

Acacia decurrens (green wattle)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acacia decurrens
  • Preferred Common Name
  • green wattle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Under favourable conditions, A. decurrens has become a serious weed problem (e.g. in Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand and South Africa) as it spreads rapidly via seed and root suckers, and the development of dense thickets has negative consequences for...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australia.
TitleTree in flower
CaptionAustralian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australia.
CopyrightG.F. Moran/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australia.
Tree in flowerAustralian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australia.G.F. Moran/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
South-west of Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.
TitleNatural stand
CaptionSouth-west of Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.
CopyrightG.F. Moran/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
South-west of Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.
Natural standSouth-west of Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.G.F. Moran/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Natural regeneration after fire, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionNatural regeneration after fire, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
CopyrightStephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Natural regeneration after fire, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
SeedlingsNatural regeneration after fire, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.Stephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
TitleShade trees in tea plantation
CaptionNuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
CopyrightStephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
Shade trees in tea plantationNuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.Stephen Midgley/CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acacia decurrens (Wendl.) Willd.

Preferred Common Name

  • green wattle

Other Scientific Names

  • Acacia angulata Desv.
  • Mimosa angulata (Desv.) Poir.
  • Mimosa decurrens Wendl.
  • Racosperma decurrens (Willd.) Pedley

International Common Names

  • English: black wattle
  • French: Acacie noire

Local Common Names

  • Australia: early black wattle; Sydney green wattle
  • Brazil: acácia-da-austrália; acácia-negra; black acacia
  • Germany: Schwarze Akazie
  • India: hara babul; peek jyali
  • Italy: acacia nera
  • Netherlands: rijswilg, zwarte

EPPO code

  • ACADC (Acacia decurrens)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Under favourable conditions, A. decurrens has become a serious weed problem (e.g. in Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand and South Africa) as it spreads rapidly via seed and root suckers, and the development of dense thickets has negative consequences for native biodiversity and obstructs water flow. It is registered as a category 2 invader in South Africa (Henderson, 2001) and recently it was listed in a provisional checklist of invasive plants in Ethiopia (Bingelli, 2003). In the USA, it occurs in the wild in several areas in California, however the extent to which the species is invasive or constitutes a threat is unknown, and it is therefore one of a number of species for which a need for more information has been identified (California Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1999). Department of Agriculture, Western Australia (2002) includes A. decurrens on a list of invasive garden plants, noting that it is a significant weed in Victoria and is also reported weedy in South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory. Anon. (2002) list it as a significant environmental weed in the Midlands Forest Management Area, Victoria. It is listed among the invasive or environmental weeds of New Zealand, e.g. Waitakere City Council (2002). Bingelli (1999) classes it as highly invasive.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Mimosoideae
  •                                 Genus: Acacia
  •                                     Species: Acacia decurrens

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Acacia decurrens belongs to Acacia subgenus Phyllodineae, section Botrycephalae. This section comprises over 50 taxa characterized by having bipinnate foliage (they do not develop phyllodes typical ofthe majority of Australian acacias) and natural occurrences confined to the relatively cool, temperate regions of southeastern Australia.

In the past, citation of the authority for the name Acacia decurrens has been attributed to either "(Wendl.) Willd." or "Willd" (see J.H. Ross, Flora of Southern Africa 16: 108, 1975, for details). The specific epithet refers to the angular ridges on the branchlet extremities which that run down from the bases of the bipinnate leaves (Hall and Johnson, 1993). Descriptions and illustrations are given in Maiden (1907), Morrison and Davies (1991), Whibley and Symon (1992) and Tame (1992). A number of varieties have also been described for A. decurrens but all are synonyms of related species.

A. decurrens is probably closely related to and may be confused with A. parramattensis, A. filicifolia and A. dangarensis. The main character distinguishing A. decurrens from these species is its decurrent petioles. Acacia parramattensis is probably often mistakenly grown as A. decurrens according to Tame (1992). Natural hybrids are known between A. baileyana and A. decurrens (Burbidge and Gray, 1970), A. dealbata and A. decurrens, and A. decurrens and A. mearnsii (B.R. Maslin, Western Australian Herbarium, pers. comm.).

Description

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A. decurrens is normally an erect tree 5-15 m tall but sometimes attains 20-22 m under favourable conditions (Boland, 1987; Pryor and Banks, 1991). Branching tends to be lateral and crown spread is up to 8 m across on the largest specimens. The bark is smooth, dark grey to almost black and may be fissured on mature plants. Branchlets are prominently angled with broad wing-like ridges (Whibley and Symon, 1992; Boland, 1987). The bipinnate leaves are dark green and glossy, consisting of 4-15 pairs of pinnae, 3-7 cm long on a rachis 4-12 cm long. Pinnae are 3-7 cm long, each with 15-35 pairs of pinnules or leaflets. Leaflets are linear to narrowly oblong, 5-14 mm long, 0.5-0.75 mm wide. There are 1-2 glands present on the petiole and jugary glands are present at the junction of each pair of pinnae (Tame, 1992). The foliage is delicately displayed and exhibits a diurnal rhythm of pinnule movement in which the leaves open by day and close by night (Boland, 1987). The inflorescence of A. decurrens is a raceme or panicle of globular flower heads each consisting of 15-30 flowers per head on terminal panicles or axillary racemes (Whibley and Symon, 1992). The pods are linear, brown, red-brown or dark brown to black, almost flat, 4-10 cm long by 4-8 mm broad, with thickened margins. The seeds are longitudinal in the pod on a short funicle/aril (Tame, 1992; Baker and Corringham, 1995). Other descriptions and illustrations are given in Maiden (1907), Morrison and Davies (1991), Whibley and Symon (1992) and Tame (1992).

Plant Type

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Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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The natural distribution of A. decurrens is on coastal hinterlands, coastal ranges and the lower tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, extending from scattered occurrences in the Hunter Valley south to the Ulladulla district (Tame, 1992). It extends for approximately 100 km inland and the natural latitudinal range is 33-37°S (Boland, 1997).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Planted Reference Notes

Africa

Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentIntroducedPlanted
Congo, Republic of thePresentIntroducedPlanted
EswatiniPresentIntroducedPlanted
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
KenyaPresentIntroducedPlanted
MoroccoPresentIntroducedPlanted
RéunionPresentIntroducedPlanted
RwandaPresentIntroducedPlanted
South AfricaPresentIntroducedInvasive
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced
UgandaPresentIntroducedPlanted
ZimbabwePresentIntroducedInvasive

Asia

ChinaPresentIntroduced
-FujianPresentIntroducedPlanted
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedPlantedOriginal citation: Yang Minquan et al., 1994
-GuizhouPresentIntroducedPlanted
-SichuanPresentIntroducedPlanted
-YunnanPresentIntroducedPlanted
IndiaPresentIntroduced
-AssamPresentIntroducedPlanted
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroducedPlanted
-KeralaPresentIntroducedPlanted
-Madhya PradeshPresentIntroducedPlanted
-SikkimPresentIntroducedPlanted
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroducedPlanted
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroducedPlanted
-West BengalPresentIntroducedPlanted
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedPlanted
-JavaPresentIntroducedPlanted
-SulawesiPresentIntroducedPlanted
JapanPresentIntroducedPlanted
MyanmarPresentIntroducedPlanted
NepalPresentIntroducedPlanted
PakistanPresentIntroducedPlanted
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedPlanted
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedFirst reported: 1870s
TaiwanPresentIntroducedPlanted
TurkeyPresentIntroducedPlanted
VietnamPresentIntroducedPlanted

Europe

FrancePresentIntroducedPlanted
ItalyPresentIntroducedPlanted
RussiaPresentIntroducedPlanted

North America

HaitiPresentIntroduced
HondurasPresentIntroducedPlanted
MexicoPresentIntroducedPlanted
United StatesPresentIntroducedPlanted
-CaliforniaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedOriginal citation: California Invasive Plant Council (CAL-IPC) (1999)
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasivePlanted

Oceania

AustraliaPresentNativePlanted
-New South WalesPresentNativeInvasive
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasivePlantedOriginal citation: Department and Western (2002)
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedPlanted
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedInvasivePlantedOriginal citation: Department and Western (2002)
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasivePlantedOriginal citation: Department and Western (2002)
FijiPresentIntroduced
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedPlanted

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedPlanted
BoliviaPresentIntroducedPlanted
BrazilPresentIntroducedPlanted
ChilePresentIntroducedPlanted
ColombiaPresentIntroducedPlanted
EcuadorPresentIntroduced
UruguayPresentIntroducedPlanted
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedPlanted

History of Introduction and Spread

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In Australia, A. decurrens has been widely cultivated as an ornamental species and in many areas it has become naturalized. There are records of naturalized occurrences in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria (Burbidge and Gray, 1970; Stanley and Ross, 1983; Morrison and Davies, 1991; Whibley and Symon, 1992); and similar adventive plants also occur near Perth, Western Australia. Outside Australia, A. decurrens has been grown in a large number of countries throughout the tropics and subtropics (records from CSIRO, 2000). It has become naturalized in Hawaii, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere.

Risk of Introduction

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The main risk of invasiveness is likely to be through the intentional introduction of this species to new countries or areas, as the multiple uses of this species have made it an attractive plant for many uses including agroforestry, soil stabilization and as an ornamental.

Habitat

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A. decurrens occurs naturally mainly in eucalypt forests and woodlands of Australia (Tame, 1992). In the Blue Mountains region, A. decurrens is found in dry sclerophyllous forest or woodland in open undulating country (Baker and Corringham, 1995). It has also been recorded as a component of tall E. pilularis forests (Beadle, 1981). In South Africa, it invades grasssland, roadsides, fynbos, savannah and riverine habitats (Dean et al., 1986; Henderson, 2001).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Natural hybrids are known between A. decurrens and A. baileyana, A. dealbata, A. mearnsii, and A. mearnsii will hybridize in cultivation (New, 1984). Philp and Sherry (1946, 1949) reviewed the incidence of hybrids between A. decurrens and A. mearnsii with a view to improving forestry stock. Features of such hybrids are discussed by Moffett (1965a, b) and Moffett and Nixon (1958). A. baileyana and A. decurrens are known to hybridize quite frequently and the hybrids appear to be more susceptible to insect galls than either parent species (Burbidge and Gray, 1970). Moran et al. (1989) included A. decurrens in an allozyme study to estimate overall genetic diversity in species of Acacia relative to A. mangium. Based on plants from the Goulburn population, A. decurrens had similar levels of expected heterozygosity relative to the other Acacia species tested. The Australian Tree Seed Centre (ATSC), CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra, Australia, supplies research seedlots for provenance or progeny trials which have been collected from throughout the natural range of A. decurrens. A list of other Australian government and private seed suppliers is also available from ATSC.

Physiology and Phenology

Flowers are produced during July, August and early September but may vary with seasonal conditions, locality and particularly altitude (Clemson, 1985). Morrison and Davies (1991) indicate a longer flowering period extending from June to early December. The time between flowering and pod maturation is 5-6 months (Boland, 1987) but pods are not produced every year (Pryor and Banks, 1991). It is a relatively short-lived species that declines in vigour after 10-15 years (Pryor and Banks, 1991).

Reproductive Biology

A. decurrens regenerates via seedling recruitment, root suckering and coppicing (Ruskin, 1983). Light fire will promote profuse seedling regeneration (Midgley and Vivekanandan, 1987) with 32,000 seedlings/ha, up to 3-4 m in height recorded after two years (Weeraratne, 1964). Moncur et al. (1991) studied the reproductive behaviour of A. mearnsii, a relative of A. decurrens, and, like A. mearnsii, the flowers of A. decurrens are protogynous and contain a single ovary with around 12-14 ovules. There are about 40 anthers per flower each of which are comprised of locules which contain 16-grain polyads and only one polyad is needed for fertilization of the ovary. A study of the breeding behaviour of A. decurrens and A. mearnsii showed that self-fertilization in both these species leads to a decrease in fertility and general vigour (Moffett and Nixon, 1974).

Environmental Requirements

Boland (1987) considered A. decurrens to have moderate frost tolerance and based on its natural occurrence recorded it as a species of the warm subhumid to humid climatic zone with mean annual rainfall of 900-1150 mm. The following data is representative of the natural distribution of A. decurrens and is derived from meteorological stations at Goulburn, Nowra, Singleton, Springwood in New South Wales (Hall et al., 1981): mean annual rainfall is 669-1153 mm; the 50 percentile rainfall is 627-993 mm, 10 percentile 447-686 mm; the mean maximum of the hottest month is 26-30°C and mean minimum of the coolest month is 1-5°C; the coolest part of natural range receives 25 frosts per year and it will tolerate temperatures as low as -6°C.

Webb et al. (1984) give the following climatic amplitude for A. decurrens based on its successful cultivation in various countries: mean annual rainfall 900-2000 mm with a 2-3 month dry season, a summer/uniform rainfall regime; mean annual temperature 12-18°C; mean maximum temperature of the hottest month 16-24°C; and mean minimum temperature of the coldest month 2-10°C.

Ruskin (1983) notes that A. decurrens prefers deep, light to medium, free-draining soils and that it occurs naturally on moderately fertile soils which include acid and neutral yellow earths, acid-bleached red duplex soils, podsols and brown earths. They are mainly derived from shales but some are derived from basalt. A. decurrens has also been noted on shales, where its best growth is on deep, well-drained soils (Beadle et al., 1982; Baker and Corringham, 1995), on riverbanks and rises (Morrison and Davies, 1991), and on relatively heavy soils (Tame, 1992). The natural altitudinal range is 25-1000 m where native in Australia, commonly 100-700 m (Boland, 1987), and 1000-2500 m where introduced (Webb et al., 1984).

Associations

A. decurrens occurs mainly in eucalypt forests and woodlands (Tame, 1992) and is recorded as a component of tall E. pilularis forests (Beadle, 1981). Ectomychorrhizal associations improve growth by enhancing absorption of nutrients from the soil (Reddell & Warren, 1987). A. decurrens is a relatively promiscuous host for Rhizobia as 75-100% of Rhizobium strains tested successfully nodulated (Roughley, 1987).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
-33 -37 1000 2500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -6
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 12 18
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 16 24
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 2 10

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration23number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall9002000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Eurytoma Herbivore Seeds

Notes on Natural Enemies

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A minor pest is Trichilogaster trilineata, which lays eggs in flower buds of A. decurrens and other bipinnate acacias. The plant then produces spherical galls around each egg; these may replace most of the flowers on a tree (New, 1984). In New Zealand, seeds of A. decurrens were heavily infested with the phytophagous chalcid, Eurytoma acaciae (Cameron, 1910) and in Hawaii, USA, A. decurrens is attacked by four species of native Cerambycidae (Davis, 1953). Some 127 Coleopteran beetle `morphospecies' were recorded on A. decurrens by New (1979). Ruskin (1983) notes that A. decurrens as susceptible to the defoliator Acanthopsyche junode and the rust fungus Uromycladium sp. In Australia, the wood of A. decurrens is susceptible to attack by borers reducing tree longevity (Wrigley and Fagg, 1996; Pryor and Banks, 1991).

Diseases known to attack A. decurrens are Corticum salmonicolor in Malaysia (Singh, 1973) and gummosis (Ceratocystis fimbriata) in Brazil (Ribeiro et al., 1988); and Ganoderma lucidum root rot in Madhya Pradesh, India (Harsh et al., 1993). Lee (1993) lists the following diseases known to cause significant damage to acacias: powdery mildew (Erysiphe acaciae), acacia gall rust (Uromycladium notabile), root rots (Ganoderma spp. and Phellinus spp.); heart rot (Phellinus sp.) and various wood decay hymenomycetes.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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The seeds are dispersed by water in South Africa (Dean et al., 1986) and birds are also reported to disperse seeds (Anon, undated). Whereas there are no available reports on accidental spread of this species, intentional introduction is known to have led to cases of invasiveness in several countries where exotic, e.g. South Africa.

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Environmental Impact

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If established in dense stands, the accumulation of shed foliage from A. decurrens forms a thick ground cover which, over time, eliminates the growth or establishment of other vegetation at the site (Ruskin, 1983). A. decurrens is one a number of invasive species in South Africa that obstructs watercourses and reduces water flow (Hill et al., 2000).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Holocarpha macradenia (Santa Cruz tarplant)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as threatened speciesCaliforniaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2014

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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A. decurrens is a deep rooted, drought-tolerant, nitrogen-fixing tree, widely planted to shade crops (MacMillan, 1991). It has been used for windbreaks, shelterbelts, as a shade crop and for soil stabilization. In Sri Lanka, it was introduced by tea planters around the 1870s and widely-used above an altitude of 1000 m for hedges, shelterbelts and windbreaks, as a shade tree, for green manure and fuelwood production (Midgley and Vivekanandan, 1987). It was a major component in the Sri Lankan government fuelwood plantations until 1936 (Streets, 1962; Champion, 1935) and is still used in ornamental plantings (Midgley and Vivekanandan, 1987; Clemson, 1985). A. decurrens was included in an investigation of stabilization techniques to control wind erosion of an ash disposal site at Port Kembla, Australia where salinity of the ash, exposure to winds, and high erodibility were particular problems (Junor, 1978). It established and grew well and along with various methods of a bituminous emulsion seal, grass sowing, strip sodding and addition of an earth layer, enabled the site to be developed as a recreational area.

Ruskin (1983) notes the wood of A. decurrens has been used for building poles, mine props, fence posts and hardboard production. In India, A. decurrens has been considered a valuable timber species (Gamble, 1972) where according to Maiden (1889) it was grown extensively. This species is one of several species reported by Clark et al. (1994) as having kraft pulp yields within the range of commercial pulpwoods. Kraft pulping and bleaching studies of plantation-grown eucalypts and acacias, which included A. decurrens, pulped to relatively high yields and their pulps bleached readily to high brightness (Hannah et al., 1977). A. decurrens was amongst the species that showed low bulk, high bursting strength and high breaking length and was considered suitable for fine paper furnishes. Pulp from A. decurrens was readily bleached to high brightness levels and the bleached pulp properties would be suitable for end products such as writing and printing papers (Logan and Balodis, 1982).

A. decurrens has the potential to be an excellent source of fuelwood. Maiden (1889) notes that the wood of A. decurrens provides an excellent fuel even when green. Individual farm woodlots of A. decurrens and A. mearnsii are an important source of woody biomass production in Swaziland (Allen et al., 1988; Allen, 1990).

In the past, A. decurrens was used in Australia for the tanning of hides when the industry was locally viable (Clemson, 1985), however, its bark is much thinner and inferior in quality to A. mearnsii (Maiden, 1889). The bark of A. decurrens yields 35-40% good quality tannin but contains an excessively red-coloured tannin extract (Ruskin, 1983; Luyt et al., 1987). Thus, its tannin is considered to reduce the value of leather and tannin from species such as A. mearnsii is preferred. Ruskin (1983), however, notes that this problem with tannin from A. decurrens could be overcome by changing the tanning process or by the addition of additives. A. decurrens is still the main tannin producing species exploited in Indonesia (Prayitno, 1982), where the addition of 5-10% of tannin-formaldehyde, made from the tannin from A. decurrens bark, is used to manufacture fibreboard from mixed wood species (Silitonga et al., 1974). Tannin-formaldehyde from A. decurrens significantly improves the strength, water-absorption and thickness-swelling properties of the boards and the cost of its production is reduced by the addition of urea to the tannin (Santoso and Sutigno, 1995). Dyes extracted from the leaves of A. decurrens have also been used to colour wool yellow or green depending on the mordant used (Martin, 1974).

A. decurrens is also known for the production of wattle gum. According to Maiden (1889), the tree yields copious gum during the summer months and was used to make jelly-like confection; its gum has also been used as a substitute for gum arabic (Macmillan et al., 1991). A. decurrens produces medium to abundant quantities of pollen during good flowering seasons as a potential source of bee forage (Clemson, 1985). Seeds have a high oil content with potential for use as a 'drying oil' (Subba Rao, 1959). Leaves have also been used for green manure production (Webb et al., 1984), though A. decurrens is not known for its fodder value in Australia.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Shade and shelter
  • Soil improvement
  • Windbreak

Fuels

  • Charcoal
  • Fuelwood

General

  • Ornamental

Materials

  • Dye/tanning
  • Wood/timber

Wood Products

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Charcoal

Roundwood

  • Building poles
  • Posts

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Exterior fittings
  • Fences

Wood-based materials

  • Fibreboard
  • Hardboard

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A. decurrens may be confused with, and is probably closely related to A. parramattensis, A. filicifolia and A. dangarensis. The main character distinguishing A. decurrens from these species is its decurrent petioles. A. parramattensis is probably often mistakenly grown as A. decurrens according to Tame (1992). Natural hybrids are known between A. baileyana and A. decurrens (Burbidge and Gray, 1970), A. dealbata and A. decurrens, and A. decurrens and A. mearnsii (BR Maslin, Western Australian Herbarium, pers. comm.).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

No literature describing the cultural, chemical or mechanical control of A. decurrens were found. However, Henderson (2001) reports that research work in South Africa is currently investigating the potential of seed feeding insects as biological control agents. ARC (2003) report that Melanterius maculatus (Curculionidae) was released in South Africa in 2003 as a biological control agent against A. decurrens, however, the degree of control provided is unknown. Hill et al. (2000) provide details of trials in New Zealand using Bruchophagus acaciae (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). Seed destruction of A. decurrens by this species was less successful than in A. dealbata and A. baileyana.

References

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Allen JA, 1990. Homestead tree planting in two rural Swazi communities. Agroforestry Systems, 11(1):11-22; 22 ref.

Allen JA, Pimentel DP, Lassoie JP, 1988. Fuelwood production and use in rural Swaziland: a case-study of two communities. Forest Ecology and Management, 25(3-4):239-254; 32 ref.

Anon, 2000. Gateway to knowledge on Alien South African Plants. Invasion rates and risks. http://fred.csir.co.za/plants/global/continen/africa/safrica/bigpic/invrisks/.

Anon, 2002. Forest management plan for the midlands. Pest plants. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, Australia.

ARC, 2003. Releases of biological control agents against weeds in South Africa, 2003. Plant Protection Research Institute, Weeds Research Division. Online at http://www.arc.agric.za/institutes/ppro/main/divisions/weedsdiv/releases.htm. Accessed 16 November 2005.

ATSC, 1998. Germination test results: records of the Australian Tree Seed Centre. Australia: CSIRO, Forestry and Forest Products. Data located on World Wide Web page at http://www.ffp.csiro.au/tigr/atscmain/

Baker M, Corringham R, 1995. Native plants of the Blue Mountains. Winmale, N.S.W., Australia: Three Sisters Publication.

Beadle NCW, 1981. The vegetation of Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1981, 690pp.; 19pp. of ref.

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Distribution References

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