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Invasive non-native terrestrial flora species

Key finding

Invasive non-native flora species degrade natural vegetation and impact on biodiversity generally.

Invasive non-native flora species—weeds—are widespread across Queensland and have the potential to degrade natural vegetation and impact on biodiversity.

For example, rubber vine could completely destroy all deciduous vine thickets in northern Queensland, leading to the loss of entire unique ecosystems, and extinction of many plant and animal species. High biomass grasses can increase fire frequency and intensity, causing irreversible changes to vegetation structure.

Weed management practices need to consider environmental impacts. For example, tillage can result in soil erosion and subsequent pollution of river systems. Inappropriate use of fire in weed management programsmay result in ecosystem modification.

New pest plant introductions and outbreaks continue to occur throughout Queensland via pathways such unintentional transportation on equipment, cargo, fodder, animals or other transport. Occasionally new pest plants result from an intentional introduction of a species by land managers. Hudson pear is one such emerging threat in Queensland. It has the potential to destroy grazing land and prevent outdoor activity. Although currently rare in Queensland, Hudson pear is considered a high-risk invasive pest, highlighting the importance of preventing further spread.

More information:

Indicator: Invasive non-native flora species

A selection of distributions of invasive non-native terrestrial flora species from the Australian Pest Species Distribution Survey database. Data is current, ranging from 2012-2014.

Last updated 26 October 2018