Plant Protection Quarterly

Plant Protection Quarterly is an Australian peer reviewed journal with a long history of publishing original research papers on all aspects of plant protection. Subject areas include basic and applied research on the protection of economic, environmental and societal values from weeds/invasive plants, pathogens and disease, and pests including insects and nematodes.

The most recent issue published is Volume 31 Issue 2. Volume 31 Issue 3 and 4 are due to be published by early 2017.

It is with much regret that we announce that Polymeria Publishing will cease to publish Plant Protection Quarterly at the end of 2016. Some components of this publication may be continued in a new format under a new owner however at this time, print and online subscriptions for 2017 will not be available.

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Featured Articles

Fifty years of “wheely prickly cactus” (Opuntia robusta) in the Maldon Shire

An article in the Maldon Times dated May 1963, tells us that the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board instructed Maldon Shire inspectors to immediately carry out control measures against wheel cactus (Opuntia robusta J.C.Wendl. ex Pfeiff.). Thirty years later in the 1990’s, local farmers were alarmed to find wheel cactus still spreading on their properties. These concerns lead to optimistic collaborations between neighbouring landholders, local Landcare groups and Parks Victoria. In the early 2000’s these community members formed a new group, the Tarrangower Cactus Control Committee, specifically to tackle the increasing problem of wheel cactus around Maldon in central Victoria. This group gained initial funding from the Victorian State Government which helped to establish years of knowledge building, education and information sharing with local communities. Despite the past 20 years of focused, determined and untiring work by many volunteers, there are now more infestations, larger seed banks and a greater spread of…

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The invasive threat of besom heath (Erica scoparia) (in Tasmania) to Victoria

Erica species are not found naturally in Australia, but have been distributed here widely as ornamental plants. Approximately 18 Erica species are recorded to have naturalised in Australia. One of these, besom heath (Erica scoparia L.), is only known from northern Tasmania where it was first formally recorded as naturalised in 1983. It is now threatening to become a state-wide weed. Weed risk assessment (and experience) suggest that besom heath has invasive potential at least equal to its better known weedy relatives Spanish heath (Erica lusitanica Rudolphi) and tree heath (Erica arborea L.). The northern Tasmanian besom heath infestation now covers approximately 250 ha with approximately 20 outlier infestations (of less than 20 ha each). Containment measures are in place for besom heath in Tasmania. However, ongoing spread is inevitable. Besom heath is a prolific producer of fine seed that spreads on vehicles and equipment, in soil and with other materials. With movement of people, vehicles…

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Use of pine oil and sugar to reduce weed seed banks under cane needle grass (Nassella hyaline) patches

ane needle grass (Nassella hyalina (Nees) Barkworth) is perennial, exotic, unpalatable weedy grass from South America threatening critically endangered grasslands within Victorian Basalt Plains in Victoria. Recent advances in weed management now place greater emphasis on eradication of small manageable ‘locally eradicable’ weed populations before their incursions are beyond eradication. A key component of weed eradication is destroying or controlling the weed seed bank. Cite as: McLaren, D.A., Hunt, T.D. and Butler, K.L. (2016). Use of pine oil and sugar to reduce weed seed banks under cane needle grass (Nassella hyalina) patches. Plant Protection Quarterly 31(2), 46-54.  

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Volunteers as dispersal agents for biocontrol of English broom in the Victorian eastern alps

English (or Scotch) broom (Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link) is a perennial, leguminous shrub of the Fabaceae (pea) family. In native vegetation, it can form dense thickets which exclude native species. Dense infestations are highly difficult to control, and the required interventions to manage these infestations are likely to cause severe off-target impacts and require extensive follow up works. As such, management of these infestations can be cost-prohibitive. English broom has invaded approximately 150 000 ha of Victoria and is yet to reach maximum habitat potential. Within the Alpine National Park (ANP), the majority of the English Broom infestation is within the Mitta Mitta catchment in the Lakes and East Alps Park Area downstream of Glen Wills. Its distribution extends along the Mitta Mitta River from the Big River Bridge to the upper reaches of Lake Dartmouth. Biological control can potentially reduce the vigour and spread of target species with minimal labour…

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Plastic weed matting is better than jute or woodchips for controlling the invasive wetland grass species Phalaris arundinacea, but not Phragmites australis

Woven polypropylene (plastic) weed matting, jute and eucalypt woodchips were trialled for controlling reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) and common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.). At two sites, one dominated by reed canary grass and the other by common reed, 50 m x 20 m was mowed and sprayed and ten (10 m x 10 m) plots established, eight of which were fenced. Plots were covered with either plastic weed matting, jute or eucalypt woodchips, or were controls. All plots were planted with native trees and shrubs and understorey plants. Plastic weed matting was the most effective at reducing regrowth of reed canary grass (<5% cover after one year) and promoting the growth of native plantings (>60% cover). Both plastic weed and jute matting were similarly effective at reducing its regrowth (to ~10%), but both matting types were compromised by common reed regrowth. While trees and shrubs grew well…

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Hawkweed (Hieracium spp.) surveillance: development of a targeted and robust plan for the Victorian Alps

Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) are an eradication target in Victoria due to the detrimental impact they can have on the natural environment and agriculture. Surveillance planning is a necessary component of an eradication program, and here it is made difficult by the species’ potential distribution over large and remote areas of the Victorian Alps. This paper describes recent surveillance planning for hawkweed, using a model to prioritise the highest risk areas for surveillance given the search hours available. The model uses variables relating to hawkweed seed dispersal and habitat suitability, as well as detectability and delimitation data to prioritise surveillance in areas at the highest risk of harbouring hawkweeds. The result is a rigorous and transparent three-year surveillance plan which can be updated and adjusted as the hawkweed program progresses. Cite as: Constantine, A., Hauser, C.E., Primrose, K. and Smith, N. (2016) Hawkweed (Hieracium spp.) surveillance: development of a targeted and robust plan…

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