Warming could change South Australia's weed pests

May 20, 2010
Warming could change South Australia's weed pests
Climate change impacts in South Australia could prompt a period of 'weed change', however, there may be some positive news in terms of strategic weed management such as in the case of Scotch Broom. (CSIRO)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Hotter temperatures and reduced rainfall in South Australia due to climate change could prompt a period of 'weed change' across the state, according to a new report from CSIRO.

The report; and in South , used climate projections to 2080 to examine how may shift in range across the State. Detailed profiles are provided for 13 weed species, including options for managing them under climate change.

Lead-author, Dr Darren Kriticos from CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship, said projections of future climate scenarios indicating higher temperatures and less on average in South Australia could have a dramatic effect on the distribution and abundance of weeds.
“Existing weed problems in northern areas of the State may shift further south. Landholders may have to deal with species where they have no past experience. In fact, we may be seeing a case of weed change,” Dr Kriticos said.

The report found that by heeding the early warning of projected climatic changes and using possible adaptation options there may be some positive news in terms of strategic weed management.

“As the climate warms the geographic range of some of the weeds that prefer cooler conditions may be reduced. If we can prevent the replacement with other weeds we may be able to put the squeeze on some weeds, particularly the notoriously destructive weeds Bridal Creeper and Scotch Broom,” Dr Kriticos said.

Weeds are a major threat to Australia’s biodiversity and agricultural areas as they out-compete and contribute to land degradation. They reduce farm productivity, for example, through injuring animals and contaminating crop harvests. Weeds cost Australia more than A$4 billion a year in control and lost production.

“Being forearmed with this knowledge and sharing information with those who deal with the likely ‘weeds of tomorrow’ will give communities an increased awareness and ability to strategically control potential future problem weeds,” Dr Kriticos said.

The report, produced by CSIRO for the South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, was released today by the South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Hon Paul Caica MP.

Explore further: An uphill climb for mountain species?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change may wake up 'sleeper' weeds

Apr 15, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Climate change will cause some of Australia’s potential weeds to move south by up to 1000km, according to a report by scientists at CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship.

Cape tulips -- pretty but pests in pastures

Aug 17, 2009

CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) are collaborating to try to outwit one of southern Australia's worst agricultural weeds.

Rust fungus to tear backbone out of boneseed

Jan 29, 2008

CSIRO’s newly refurbished containment facility for exotic insects and plant pathogens in Canberra is hosting a species of rust fungus which shows promise as a biocontrol agent for the highly invasive plant ...

Marine ecosystems get a climate form guide

Nov 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The first-ever Australian benchmark of climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and options for adaptation is being released in Brisbane today.

Recommended for you

An uphill climb for mountain species?

9 hours ago

A recently published paper provides a history of scientific research on mountain ecosystems, looks at the issues threatening wildlife in these systems, and sets an agenda for biodiversity conservation throughout ...

Extinctions during human era worse than thought

11 hours ago

It's hard to comprehend how bad the current rate of species extinction around the world has become without knowing what it was before people came along. The newest estimate is that the pre-human rate was ...

Robotics to combat slimy pest

15 hours ago

One hundred years after they arrived in a sack of grain, white Italian snails are the target of beleaguered South Australian farmers who have joined forces with University of Sydney robotics experts to eradicate ...

Migratory fish scale to new heights

15 hours ago

WA scientists are the first to observe and document juvenile trout minnow (Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846) successfully negotiating a vertical weir wall by modifying their swimming technique to 'climb' ...

User comments : 0