Effects of the native environmental weed Pittosporum undulatum Vent. (sweet pittosporum) on plant biodiversity

Trudi L. Mullett, CRC Weed Management Systems and Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Pittosporum undulatum is a tall shrub or small tree, native to the wet forests of south-east Australia that is now a serious environmental weed both within and beyond its natural geographic range. This adaptable species has exploited changes in natural disturbance regimes and increased dispersal opportunities to spread from abundant ornamental plantings into remnant vegetation. Invading populations of P. undulatum impose fundamental changes on the composition, structure and function of affected communities. This species is arguably the most serious native environmental weed in south-east Australia. However, P. undulatum plays an important role in the community ecology of its indigenous habitats. The species' dual native and weedy status often complicates management of P. undulatum in south-east Australia, especially in its natural range where many populations are expanding. An on-going targeted approach to P. undulatum management is required throughout the species' current distribution.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2001) 16 (3) 117-121.