Management of Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata in Western Australia.
One of Australia's most serious weeds, Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata (bitou bush) was recently found for the first time in Western Australia as a well established population in Kwinana, a major port and industrial area south of Perth, the State's capital. This population is remote from other bitou bush infestations in Australia and had escaped detection despite extensive surveys in the same State for the other subspecies that is present in Australia, Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. monilifera (boneseed). The main reasons it went undetected are thought to be the tightly controlled access to this area because of mineral processing and port activities, the unusual invasion route via a heavy industrial area and the morphological similarity to a native species when it is not flowering. Two surveys defined the core population of 1038 plants that are spread along the coast over a 25-ha semi-circle with about a 500-m (1640 ft) diameter. Subsequent surveys of first a 500 m buffer zone and later a 1-km (0.621 mi) buffer found four additional plants, indicating that there is considerable potential for dispersal. We concluded that the survey has not delimited the distribution because of the potential and evidence for long distance dispersal. Cooperation by the various land managers has led to all plants being killed, as an initial step to management of this species. Other steps to be undertaken include an awareness campaign in the area that would need to be surveyed for delimitation of the spatial distribution and seed bank assessment to measure potential dispersal both in space and through time. It remains to be determined what is the best strategic response: eradication or containment.