Uneven distribution of weeds along extensive transects in Australia's Northern Territory points to management solutions

Noel Preece, Kylie Harvey, Craig Hempel, John C Z Woinarski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Summary: The Top End region of the Northern Territory, Australia, is noted for its relatively unmodified natural state. To gain some insight into the potential for maintaining ecosystem health in this region we undertook a study that assessed the distribution of weeds across very extensive transects. This weed survey was distinct from other studies in that many of the sample sites were distant from tracks or other infrastructure. Twenty-one weed species were recorded along 2000 km of transects. Weeds were reported from 18.7% of the 718 sample points. The incidence of weeds was found to be significantly associated with land tenure, being highest on pastoral lands and peri-urban areas, and very low on Aboriginal lands. The incidence of weeds increased significantly with increasing levels of infrastructure and with increasing proximity to watercourses. There are three main conclusions from this study. First, much of the Top End, particularly remote Aboriginal lands, has exceptionally low levels of weed infestation. Secondly, in such areas, given the relatively small extent of vegetation change through weed invasion, maintenance or re-imposition of traditional fire regimes should be achievable. Thirdly, there is substantial potential for spread of weeds to remote areas, with such spread most likely to occur through increased penetration by infrastructure. Importantly this study indicates that there is still opportunity to prevent widespread weed invasion across the Top End, which is timely given the current Government consideration of the potential for the region to support future agricultural expansion and the fast-paced development of mining, oil and gas resources. © 2010 Ecological Society of Australia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-134
    Number of pages8
    JournalEcological Management and Restoration
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

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    Northern Territory
    weed
    transect
    weeds
    infrastructure
    distribution
    periurban area
    incidence
    land tenure
    fire regime
    ecosystem health
    urban areas
    penetration
    gases
    sampling
    oils
    vegetation

    Cite this

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    title = "Uneven distribution of weeds along extensive transects in Australia's Northern Territory points to management solutions",
    abstract = "Summary: The Top End region of the Northern Territory, Australia, is noted for its relatively unmodified natural state. To gain some insight into the potential for maintaining ecosystem health in this region we undertook a study that assessed the distribution of weeds across very extensive transects. This weed survey was distinct from other studies in that many of the sample sites were distant from tracks or other infrastructure. Twenty-one weed species were recorded along 2000 km of transects. Weeds were reported from 18.7{\%} of the 718 sample points. The incidence of weeds was found to be significantly associated with land tenure, being highest on pastoral lands and peri-urban areas, and very low on Aboriginal lands. The incidence of weeds increased significantly with increasing levels of infrastructure and with increasing proximity to watercourses. There are three main conclusions from this study. First, much of the Top End, particularly remote Aboriginal lands, has exceptionally low levels of weed infestation. Secondly, in such areas, given the relatively small extent of vegetation change through weed invasion, maintenance or re-imposition of traditional fire regimes should be achievable. Thirdly, there is substantial potential for spread of weeds to remote areas, with such spread most likely to occur through increased penetration by infrastructure. Importantly this study indicates that there is still opportunity to prevent widespread weed invasion across the Top End, which is timely given the current Government consideration of the potential for the region to support future agricultural expansion and the fast-paced development of mining, oil and gas resources. {\circledC} 2010 Ecological Society of Australia.",
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    Uneven distribution of weeds along extensive transects in Australia's Northern Territory points to management solutions. / Preece, Noel; Harvey, Kylie; Hempel, Craig; Woinarski, John C Z.

    In: Ecological Management and Restoration, Vol. 11, No. 2, 08.2010, p. 127-134.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Uneven distribution of weeds along extensive transects in Australia's Northern Territory points to management solutions

    AU - Preece, Noel

    AU - Harvey, Kylie

    AU - Hempel, Craig

    AU - Woinarski, John C Z

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    N2 - Summary: The Top End region of the Northern Territory, Australia, is noted for its relatively unmodified natural state. To gain some insight into the potential for maintaining ecosystem health in this region we undertook a study that assessed the distribution of weeds across very extensive transects. This weed survey was distinct from other studies in that many of the sample sites were distant from tracks or other infrastructure. Twenty-one weed species were recorded along 2000 km of transects. Weeds were reported from 18.7% of the 718 sample points. The incidence of weeds was found to be significantly associated with land tenure, being highest on pastoral lands and peri-urban areas, and very low on Aboriginal lands. The incidence of weeds increased significantly with increasing levels of infrastructure and with increasing proximity to watercourses. There are three main conclusions from this study. First, much of the Top End, particularly remote Aboriginal lands, has exceptionally low levels of weed infestation. Secondly, in such areas, given the relatively small extent of vegetation change through weed invasion, maintenance or re-imposition of traditional fire regimes should be achievable. Thirdly, there is substantial potential for spread of weeds to remote areas, with such spread most likely to occur through increased penetration by infrastructure. Importantly this study indicates that there is still opportunity to prevent widespread weed invasion across the Top End, which is timely given the current Government consideration of the potential for the region to support future agricultural expansion and the fast-paced development of mining, oil and gas resources. © 2010 Ecological Society of Australia.

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    KW - savanna

    KW - tropical region

    KW - urban area

    KW - vegetation dynamics

    KW - weed control

    KW - Australia

    KW - Northern Territory

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    SN - 1442-7001

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    ER -