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Revegetation of a wetland following control of the invasive woody weed, Mimosa pigra, in the Northern Territory, Australia

Authors

  • Quentin Paynter


  • Quentin Paynter was an ecologist with CSIRO Entomology (PMB 44 Winnellie, Northern Territory 0822, Australia) when he conducted this work as part of the Natural Heritage Trust-funded project ‘Biological Control of Mimosa pigra and Integration with Other Options’. Quentin now works for Landcare Research (Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand. Fax: +64-9 574 4101. Email: PaynterQ@landcareresearch.co.nz)

Abstract

Summary  Methods for floodplain revegetation using native species were investigated, following clearance of the invasive shrub Mimosa pigra L. (Mimosaceae) in the Northern Territory of Australia. Prolific revegetation occurred naturally and several species were identified that have potential for revegetation at sites where natural regeneration is poor, namely: Spiny Mud Grass, Pseudoraphis spinescens, Awnless Barnyard Grass, Echinochloa colona, and an unidentified Panicum species. However, it may still be desirable to plant native perennial grasses, of which most species did not establish naturally. Stolons of the native floodplain grass Hymenachne acutigluma (Steud) Gilliland (Poaceae) established well when planted in wet mud and shallow water during the early dry season, as seasonal floodwaters subsided. Similar plantings during the early wet season were less successful. Sowing seed of several floodplain grasses and Eliocharis dulcis was unsuccessful in both seasons. Planting stolons of H. acutigluma as seasonal floodwaters subside may provide a reliable alternative to exotic floodplain grasses, Para Grass (Urochloa mutica), and Amity Aleman Grass (Echinochloa polystachya), which are also currently propagated vegetatively in Australia. However, planting H. acutigluma stolons had no tangible benefits in terms of suppressing Mimosa establishment, which was low in all treatments. Revegetation should not be considered an alternative to the diligent control of Mimosa seedlings; regenerating following control of Mimosa thickets.

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