Determinants of broom (Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link) abundance in Europe

Quentin PaynterA, Simon V. FowlerB, Jane MemmottC, Richard H. ShawB and Andy W. SheppardD

A CABI Bioscience, c/o CSIRO, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34980 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France.

B CABI Bioscience, Silwood Park, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks. SL5 7TA, United Kingdom.

C Leverhulme Unit: CABI Bioscience/NERC Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks. SL5 7PY, United Kingdom.

D CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.

Present addresses:
A CSIRO, Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, PMB 44, Winnellie, NT 0822, Australia.

B Landcare Research, Private Bag 92170, Mt. Albert, Auckland, New Zealand.

C University of Bristol, Senate House, Tynedall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, United Kingdom.


This paper reviews ecological literature and presents previously unpublished data concerning population dynamics of broom (Cytisus scoparius) in Europe. These studies, together with recent population dynamics modelling, provide strong evidence that insect herbivores regulate European broom populations, suggesting biological control could succeed in controlling exotic weedy populations. Furthermore, grazing by mammalian herbivores and the frequency of disturbances to the soil surface, that create microsites for seedling germination, were also shown to regulate populations, suggesting that grazing and land management strategies could be useful for the integrated control of weedy exotic populations.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2000) 15 (4) 149-155.