Alligator weed workshop


Date: 03/12/2002

Alligator weed researchers will gather at the Department of Land and Water Conservation office in Windsor, on December 5 and 6, 2002 to discuss how to manage the noxious weed and identify research opportunities.

According to Bertie Hennecke, a researcher and postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Horticulture and Plant Science at UWS, alligator weed is a significant invasive species in Australia.

"Alligator weed is listed as an Australian Weed of National Significance and currently this aquatic weed is not adequately controlled across its range of habitats and environments," Mr Hennecke says.

"The release of biological control agents has reduced the levels of the weed in aquatic environments in mild temperate coastal areas but not elsewhere or in terrestrial habitats.

"Although herbicides are providing limited control, this is only a temporary solution which is quite expensive. Herbicide use is also restricted in aquatic and riparian habitats."

The workshop aims to improve the understanding of the ecology and the long-term management of alligator weed, and also target key management issues, research priorities and discuss current and future resources.

Mr Hennecke is currently initiating a new research project to better control alligator weed through indigenous fungal pathogens and using insects for biological control.

"The University's Hawkesbury campus is situated in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment which is a major alligator weed-infested area. This weed poses a significant threat to industries and recreation areas in the Hawkesbury-Nepean, so it is very important that we research this weed," Mr Hennecke says.

"We have the opportunity to play a major role in researching alligator weed to find better ways to control it. Our next step will be to secure long-term funding for this research project."

The workshop will be hosted by Mic Julien from the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management and CSIRO Entomology, and Rebecca Coventry from NSW Agriculture.

Ends.

For more information or requests for interviews contact Suzie Vlaming, Senior Media Officer, 02 9852 5823, 0414 308 701, s.vlaming@uws.edu.au

Ends