[ASC-media] Media release: weeds thrive on climate change

JCA Media jca.media at starclass.com.au
Tue Sep 26 09:48:20 CEST 2006

15th Australian Weeds Conference Media Release
24-28 Sept 2006, Adelaide Convention Centre

26 Sept 2006


Though some of the 3000 foreign plants species now established as weeds in Australia could find their range curtailed as a result of climate change, scientists say that many could explode into new areas as current climatic limits on them are lifted.  

Worse still, some that are present in Australia but not known as weeds, the so-called 'sleeper weeds', could burst onto the weeds scene and cost future generations millions. 

In a research project reported to the 15th Australian Weeds Conference in Adelaide this week,  Dr Darren Kriticos said that the science of climate modelling had progressed sufficiently for weed scientists around the world to start using these models to predict how known weeds might expand their range in response to climate change. 

Using three weeds as examples, namely prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica), Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata), and buddleia (Buddleja davidii), the research team mapped their possible extent in the 2080s. Prickly acacia was predicted to expand its range south into NSW, and Siam weed would also expand south into coastal NSW as well as further inland in mid-southern Queensland. It appeared that the area suitable for Buddleia, on the other hand, might contract southwards as temperatures increased, This could bring it into conflict with some of Australia's most productive agricultural systems, although these might also contract as temperatures increased. 

The researchers emphasised that these predictions could change as climate models improved further, or if patterns of future global greenhouse emissions altered.

Contact: Darren Kriticos, ENSIS (a joint venture between CSIRO and the NZ forest research organisation Scion)
When available: during conference via Media Room (tel. nos. below)
Conference attendance:  Yes

Further information

Media unable to reach any of the above sources can contact the Weeds Conference Media Room (Meeting Room 8, 1st floor in the Adelaide Convention Centre) at the Weeds Conference from Monday 25 to Thursday 28 September. 

The main contact officers will be:
Mr Peter Martin 0429 830 366, Ms Rita Reitano 0419 184 153, or direct line 08-8210 6605.

Images available:
Images for these stories are available on the Conference media pages at: www.plevin.com.au/15AWC2006/media.htm. Other stories based on Conference papers are also available from these pages.

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