What is a weed?
A weed is a plant growing out of place. Weeds are usually introduced species but can sometimes be non-indigenous native plants. It is vital to understand the physiological characteristics of individual species in order to effectively prioritise their management and adequate follow-up and maintenance requirements. Some species have persistent soil-stored seedbanks, whilst others may be short-lived but spread vegetatively or via seed and propagules. Equally important is knowing whether they are;
- Edge weeds,
- Bushland invaders or;
What problems do weeds cause?
- Compete with native plants
- Reduce germination of natives plants
- Suppress native tree and seedling growth
- Modify nutrient cycling within an ecosystem
- Change soil conditions
- Affect food and habitat opportunities for native fauna
- Create harbour for feral animals
- Alter fire regimes
- Reduce recreation potential of bushland
What is going wrong with our bushland?
- Pressures from urban development decreased values of natural areas
- Increased nutrient loads from fertiliser and stormwater/urban run-off
- Changes to hydrological regimes
- Erosion of soil and
- Feral and domestic animals
- Weed invasion
- Altered fire regimes
- Passive management of natural areas
- Rubbish dumping and encroachment
- Inappropriate recreational activities
The process of reversing bushland degradation is achievable through good planning and active management. This can be accomplished by having a sound knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the natural ecological processes operating within our bushland areas and native ecosystems.