Interactions between animals and coastal weeds

Interactions between animals and coastal weeds

by Charlotte Catmur


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This is one part of a University of Melbourne research project looking at just how bad coastal weeds are. It is a multi-disciplinary research project which seeks to collate existing information on the impacts of invasive coastal plants in Australasia and undertake formal research on impacts that have received the least attention. Including how weeds are impacting the geomorphology of beaches, animals interactions with weeds on the beach and the impact that weeds have on human interactions with beaches. This project is funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

The research is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team, including ecology, economics, psychology, sociology and geomorphology, with support from employees in State Government, Catchment Management Authorities, shires and local communities.

The research is based on our understanding that exotic plants seem to invade Australia’s coastal fringe with impunity, whether arriving by chance or through deliberate introduction. However, with the exception of funding of Coastcare groups of volunteers — whose coverage is fragmented — we take little action. Part of the reason for this is an almost complete lack of information on their impacts (or an under-appreciation of what these impacts might be). Invasive plants, particularly in coastal regions, have a wide variety of interdependent impacts, both direct and indirect. We may be ignoring them at our cost, or we may be right in treating them as low priorities.

This is part of the community observations dimension of the research. In addition to completing monthly observations we are seeking photographs that show interactions between animals and weeds.

Please add photographs with the name of the beach location attached.

Please email catmurc@unimelb.edu.au for more information


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