Priority lists for weed research in the wet- and dry-tropics of north Queensland

F.F. BebawiA, S.D. CampbellA and T.D StanleyB

A Tropical Weeds Research Centre, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Charters Towers, Queensland 4820, Australia.

B External Funds Unit, Catchment and Regional Planning, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, 41 George Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia.


A participatory decision making approach was used to prioritize weed research for the wet- and dry-tropics of north Queensland using stakeholders, an expert panel, external reviewers, and the computerized priority-setting system (QDNRM MODSS). From 246 weeds identified, 53 weeds were found to be of major concern. A score was developed for each weed, which accounted for its priority in individual shires and the number of times it was prioritized across the 47 shires. The 22 dry- and 31 wet-tropics weeds were scored by an expert panel against 12 criteria based on economic, environmental and social impacts and current research knowledge with higher scores for greater impact and greater amount of needed research.

Several 'what if' scenarios were run through QDNRM MODSS by altering the relative importance of criteria. The best criterion for prioritizing weed research was when impact was given higher importance than research needs. Mikania micrantha, Chromolaena odorata, Mimosa invisa, and Eupatorium catarium were the top four weeds of the wet-tropics, and Prosopis spp., Parthenium hysterophorus, Jatropha gossypiifolia, and Cryptostegia grandiflora for the dry-tropics. Priority lists will be used to decide the order in which weeds should be researched and what type of research needed to be done.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2002) 17 (2) 67-73.