Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
Australian National Herbarium

Botanical Research, Conservation, Management
and Use of the Australian Flora

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30 September 2002

Plant invaders in Australia

Weeds are a major threat to Australia's biodiversity. But it is not only introduced plants that are posing a problem, our agricultural crops and even some of our natives are getting away.


Join Dr Trudi Mullett of CSIRO Plant Industry as she explains the threat of weeds to Australia in the third Biodiversity Bites free public lecture presented by the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research at CSIRO Discovery.

"Introduced plants brought to Australia for ornamental purposes pose the biggest weed threat to Australia's natural ecosystems," Dr Mullett says.

"They can 'jump the fence' of home gardens and escape into native bushland where they establish themselves as weeds and threaten biodiversity values."

Introduced crops and native plants can also become weeds.

"When native plants are moved from one area of Australia to another, usually for the purpose of planting in the home garden, they too can escape and invade other areas," Dr Mullett says.

"Likewise some agricultural crop plants have spread into neighbouring bushland."

Weeds compete with local native plants and in the worst cases can totally destroy healthy, diverse ecosystems. As weeds displace local native plants they alter habitat for wildlife by changing available food, shelter and nesting resources.

"Weed invasion poses a serious threat to biodiversity conservation and reduces the uniqueness of invaded Australian ecosystems", Dr Mullett says.

"But with good weed management we can improve the conservation prospects of these areas."

'Biodiversity Bites - Plant Invaders' Public Lecture

Date: Wednesday, 2 October 2002

Time: 6.00pm - 7.00pm (seating available from 5.00pm)

Venue: CSIRO Discovery Lecture Theatre
CSIRO Black Mountain laboratories
Corner of Clunies Ross Street and Barry Drive

Cost: Free - everyone welcome

Media are invited to attend this and upcoming "Biodiversity Bites" public lectures.

Dr Trudi Mullett is available for interview.

The Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research is a joint initiative between the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO Plant Industry.

For more information on upcoming "Biodiversity Bites" visit www.cpbr.gov.au/cpbr/lectures.

Media information:

Sophie Clayton, CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5139, 0418 626 860

Attendance information:

Val Oliver, CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5533 val.oliver@csiro.au



Updated 8 October, 2002 by Murray Fagg (anbg-info@anbg.gov.au)