plant hot spots
index (not much here yet)
Agricultural weeds and environmental weeds are different.
Environmental weeds are defined here as exotic plants that invade native vegetation, usually adversely affecting the survival of the indigenous flora. (exotic = from overseas, other states or outside their pre-European habitat)
The environmental weed problem is likely to affect all vegetation formations in Australia, and along with land clearing is one of the most serious threats to vegetation and fauna survival.
Declaration of weeds in legislation is valuable for education and is very important to allow grants to manage the highest priority weed situations but control obligation elements will not work
A few environmental weeds like wetland weeds greatly affect our local economy through fewer fish fingerlings.
Urban "heritage like" natural assets will inevitably become "historical parks" so the earliest eradication of all woody weeds will exponentially reduce future costs but is not regionally significant for conservation. Once urban natural assets are weed free will the urban communities think the weed problem solved?
However most environmental weeds do not affect our artificially created economy. Once environmental weeds establish, even one plant, basically they will continue to spread forever uninhibited.
In our region one in ten species in our natural assets is already exotic. Victoria with it's longer European habitation has one exotic in five native species.
Certainly the thrust of effective and significant environmental weed management will pivot around minimal cost options. That means prevention, very early detection and eradication. Urban concern about weeds can be galvanised by communicating the threat to biodiversity. Primary producers and local councils will welcome such public pressure because effective environmental weed management will also remove potential agricultural weeds and save their economy megabucks.
Proposed regional environmental weed management strategy (summary)
To more detailed strategy
This summary, and the more detailed strategy elsewhere are extracts that are totally verbatim in many places, and are all derived from text by Carr, Yugovic and Robinson, 1992. Very extensive research was carried out for the State of Victoria to produce their publication. We are unaware of any similar information for North Queensland, but the principles are certainly very similar.
It is proposed that the summary, the more detailed strategy, and also the quite short original booklet text be adopted as Townsville region's environmental weed strategy.
We look forward to sitting down with regional nurserymen to address ways of reducing the sale of weedy species at the source. The onus is on us to respect plant customers wishes and the practical hands on expert in plant retail and landscaping. Through respectful partnerships we hope nursery and landscaping employees will readily sell the weed story.
Vast areas of Australia are threatened by weed invasions, this is especially evident in Northern Australia.
However preventative action can be taken to avert such losses.
Changes in ecosystem ... may adversely affect some (animal) species and favour others, but in the long term massive ecosystem disruption and faunal extinction seem inevitable.
The environmental weed problem is likely to affect all vegetation formations in Australia, and along with land clearing is one of the most serious threats to vegetation and fauna survival. The impact of weeds on native vegetation has been catastrophic, and the process continues today at an accelerating pace. The world wide web is a particular threat as mail can bypass quarantine regulations.