Shut the gate, alien weedy grasses have bolted and more are on the way

Robert Myers, PO Box 250, Birdwood, South Australia 5234, Australia.


Many introduced pasture grass species have invaded remnant native vegetation areas in South Australia with a subsequent negative impact on biodiversity. The fact that the process began through an understandable botanical cringe in Anglo-Europeans who sought to tame and conquer their newly-occupied lands does not excuse a continuance of that mind-set in us over 150 years later. A host of alien annuals and perennials that came to Australia, either deliberately or inadvertently, were escapees into the countryside well before 1900. The Federal Government still hasn't been persuaded to shut the gate. The develop-at-all-cost community still doesn't understand how the loss of native vegetation really affects biodiversity. There still isn't an aggressive strategy in place to cleverly use recently developed, grass-selective herbicides to hit those early-naturalized, invasive grasses to protect our native plant communities.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2004) 19 (2) 77-79.