Refuges harbour pests and beneficial insects
That refuge crops, planted near Bt cotton to prevent resistance developing, also support significant populations of secondary pests and beneficial species is argued in this article from Farming Ahead. (3 pages)
Paterson’s curse is an introduced plant and considered both a valuable pasture species and a toxic weed, out competing other plants and poisoning livestock. Several biological control agents have been released in Australia since the late 1980s to help control this weed.
Worm study will help future parasite control
This article from Farming Ahead discusses CSIRO research on genetic and physical variations between different strains of Barber’s pole worm which should help producers develop better management strategies to minimise the impact of this parasite. (3 pages)
The impact of weeds on rainforests following Cyclone Larry
Severe Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Larry hit the North Queensland coast in 2006 causing extensive destruction to rainforest habitats in the Wet Tropics. The widespread disturbance caused by the cyclone provided ideal conditions for rapid recruitment and spread of invasive weeds in Queensland’s rainforests.
Eradicating pest ants from the Top End
CSIRO scientists lead research into the ecology, impacts and control of invasive ant species in northern Australia. A successful eradication project in Kakadu has paved the way for CSIRO leadership of a range of other pest ant management projects.
Foot-and-mouth disease global initiative
AAHL staff are actively involved in an international alliance aimed at developing new vaccines, diagnostic tests and antiviral drugs for foot-and-mouth disease.
Fighting frog fungus
Australian scientists, including a team at CSIRO, were first to identify a fungus as the cause of mass frog declines in Australia and Panama.
Dead or alive – bridal creeper is bad for environment
Bridal creeper, a native of southern Africa, is an attractive plant once much loved by gardeners. Now it is one of southern Australia’s worst environmental weeds. It smothers native vegetation and its huge tuber mats prevent germination of native plants.
Breeding better salmon
The Food Futures Flagship is improving the quality of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon through a selective breeding program.
Science for tomorrow: developments
Four CSIRO research projects from Farming Ahead: invigorating wheat production, accurately mapping water availability, weeding out the risk of pest plants and a survey to help refine seasonal forecasts. (1 page)
Protecting crops against Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus
Plants with total immunity to the devastating Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus could be a step closer thanks to breeding of resistant species and the creation of a synthetic gene primed to recognise the virus and destroy it. (2 pages)
Managing lippia under climate change
This article from Farming Ahead details research on the use of computer simulation models to show how climate change is likely to affect the invasive plant, lippia, in the Murray-Darling Basin and how the results are relevant to other riparian weeds. (3 pages)
Smart women use science to conquer weeds
A team of PhD students, jointly supported by CSIRO and the University of Queensland, has won a Smart Women - Smart State award for their research investigating the four major mechanisms behind costly and destructive weed invasions.