Weeds in Australian Arid Regions

  • John K. ScottEmail author
  • Margaret H. Friedel
  • A. C. Grice
  • Bruce L. Webber


Spread across the vast landscapes that geographically dominate Australia’s arid interior are over 400 alien plant species making up between 0 and 9.7% of the flora, depending on the region being considered. Few of these introductions are genuinely invasive species, and an even smaller proportion is documented as having a negative impact on their local ecosystem. However, those negative impacts that do occur are far ranging and difficult to manage, because of the distances and remoteness of the area, a lack of economic incentives for control, and contention regarding the economic, environmental and social benefits and costs of some species. Management of the weeds of arid regions must involve all aspects of the biosecurity continuum, including quarantine and containment. Depending on the size of invaded areas and the particular species, options can include mechanical control, herbicide applications, fire and grazing in various combinations and biological control. Management will need to respond to changes in climate with research required into adaptive responses.



We thank Hans Lambers and Rieks van Klinken for their comments on versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John K. Scott
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Margaret H. Friedel
    • 3
  • A. C. Grice
    • 4
  • Bruce L. Webber
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of Western AustraliaCrawley (Perth)Australia
  2. 2.CSIRO Land and WaterP.O. WembleyAustralia
  3. 3.CSIRO Land and Water, 001 – Business Innovation Centre, Desert Knowledge PrecinctAlice SpringsAustralia
  4. 4.College of Marine and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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