How to stop the growth of invasive plants in Australia
By Kate McNeillIt’s not just about the trees.
We’ve got to protect our plants and animals from a growing number of invasive species, according to a new report.
The authors of a report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Government’s Australian Parks and Wildlife Service have called for an urgent global focus on the invasive species threat.
The CSIRO report, ‘Imported plants and wildlife: the urgency of tackling invasive species’, was published on Wednesday.
The report outlines the challenges of fighting the invasive plants threat globally and outlines a number of ways the Australian government and state and territory governments can address it.
The most pressing problem is the ‘incidental invasion’ of invasive plant species, the report states.
This is when the invasive plant has been introduced without the proper management, which is a process that takes time.
“Imported plant species can be introduced with little or no consultation or knowledge of their ecological impacts, so are often poorly managed, in some cases by local or regional governments,” CSIRO said.
The introduction of plants and/or animals in our environment is a global threatThe report notes that some invasive plants have been introduced into Australia without proper management or knowledge, meaning they can have a ‘significant and widespread impact on ecosystems and on species diversity”.”
The introduction and spread of these plants and their products in our landscape is a significant and widespread threat to biodiversity and natural resource systems,” the report said.”
Our species diversity is being undermined by a combination of invasive and native species.
The introduction and distribution of these plant species may be the biggest threat to this biodiversity.
“The report noted that while some native species have been removed from the landscape, the invasive invasion of native plants has increased.”
As the number of native plant species in the environment increases, the numbers of invasive invasive plant and animal species that are in the landscape increases,” it said.
This report has highlighted the urgent need for an international effort to fight invasive plant threats, and the need for a global effort to reduce the number and severity of invasive invasions.CSIRO said it was concerned by the number, variety and intensity of invasive, introduced, and native plant and wildlife species in Australia.”
This is particularly concerning in areas where indigenous species and the landscapes they depend on are threatened, including Victoria, NSW, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia,” the CSIRO reported.
The study found that the majority of introduced plants and plants and animal products were native species, but that the ‘overall’ number of introduced species had increased since 2008.
The total number of plant and non-plant introduced species in Australian ecosystems has increased by approximately 7 million since the early 1990s, with a further 300 million introduced plants having been introduced.”
We are currently seeing a dramatic increase in the number [of invasive plants] in the wild,” the study stated.”
The impact of introduced plant and animals in Australia has increased substantially over the past 20 years, and is predicted to continue to increase as we move towards a global climate change, food security and urbanisation future.””
The Australian Government must lead the international response to this global threat, including by working with the international community and international research institutions,” CSIRS President and CEO Peter MacCallum said in a statement.”
A significant part of this will be addressing the impact of invasive introductions in the native landscape.
A more efficient and cost-effective approach is required to control these invasive species.
“While the report recommended that states and territories work to improve their ability to prevent the introduction of native species in their ecosystems, it also urged the federal government to provide more support for native species management in its national parks.”
Many states and territory Governments are currently unable to provide support to native species control efforts in their national parks,” the survey stated.
The Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (CSIOR) is the research arm of the Commonwealth Government, the Government’s research agency.