Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Weed management guides: managing weeds for biodiversity.


All Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions around Australia were invited to nominate up to 10 priority environmental weeds for which insufficient botanical and management information is readily available. Responses were received from 42 NRM regions, listing a total of 261 weeds. These included 44 of the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) ranked between 21 and 71 and 8 Australian native species naturalized outside their range. Twenty eight weeds were nominated by five or more regions and were reviewed to determine which ones to cover in the new guides. The main criteria were: (1) is the weed a threat to natural ecosystems?; (2) are fact sheets and other material already available for the species? If so, do they provide comprehensive information about management in natural ecosystems in an accessible form for community groups? (3) are there recent research findings or other advances in knowledge about the biology or control of a species that could be useful for community groups if available in a weed management guide? Eight weeds were then selected for this series: (1) African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum); (2) Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta); (3) Brooms (Cytisus scoparius, Genista monspessulana and related species); (4) Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris); (5) Periwinkle (Vinca major); (6) Spanish heath (Erica lusitanica) and other Erica spp.; (7) Cat's claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati); and (8) Feathergrasses and mission grasses (Pennisetum spp.). The guides emphasized 3 key areas of preparation: (1) know the weed and its biology; (2) know the range of methods for removing it; and (3) know the site, including the condition of the native vegetation. The importance of planning, being strategic, long-term perseverance and use of selective, minimum disturbance weeding methods in native vegetation are highlighted. Suitable methods for applying registered herbicides are included where appropriate. Contact advice is included for further information.