Historical aspects of commercial weed invasions – perennial grass case studies

D.A. McLaren, Department of Primary Industries, Frankston Centre, PO Box 48, Frankston, Victoria 3199, Australia, and the CRC for Australian Weed Management.


The historical aspects of commercial weed invasion are described from European settlement through to the recent issues of e-commerce and genetically modified crops. Weed status by industry sector is discussed comparing garden/ornamental, botanical garden, agricultural industries and accidental/contamination weed introductions using examples of Weeds of National Significance. A case study of a recently introduced weed to Australia, Mexican feather grass is discussed and how it highlighted an important anomaly in the plant import appraisal process prompting Biosecurity Australia to fully implement the permitted list system. A second perennial grass case study examines how a serious Australian weed, brown top bent grass management could be potentially compromised by inappropriate genetic modification research undertaken by a USA company seeking commercial profits. A list of proposed directions for dealing with weed invasion issues is presented.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2008) 23 (2) 65-69.