Long term climate effects are confounded with the biological control programme against the invasive weed Baccharis halimifolia in Australia

Sims-Chilton, N. M., Zalucki, M. P. and Buckley, Y. M. (2010) Long term climate effects are confounded with the biological control programme against the invasive weed Baccharis halimifolia in Australia. Biological Invasions, 12 9: 3145-3155. doi:10.1007/s10530-010-9705-z


Author Sims-Chilton, N. M.
Zalucki, M. P.
Buckley, Y. M.
Title Long term climate effects are confounded with the biological control programme against the invasive weed Baccharis halimifolia in Australia
Formatted title
Long term climate effects are confounded with the biological control programme against the invasive weed Baccharis halimifolia in Australia
Journal name Biological Invasions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1387-3547
1573-1464
Publication date 2010-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10530-010-9705-z
Volume 12
Issue 9
Start page 3145
End page 3155
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Climate has an important influence on the distribution and abundance of invasive species. Habitat suitability for invasive plants could shift with a changing climate and management practices may need to shift in response. Anecdotal evidence suggests that groundsel bush (Baccharis halimifolia) has declined in abundance over the past 50 years in Australia, co-incident with the introduction of a suite of biological control agents. While biological control may be responsible for this decline, here we investigate an alternative hypothesis—that long-term change in the favourability of the climate may have changed growth conditions for groundsel bush throughout its Australian range. We also predict what may happen to the future distribution of this species, using a bioclimatic modelling technique (CLIMEX). We found a significant reduction in the favourability for growth of B. halimifolia over the past 50 years at 29 sites in Australia. Under a likely IPCC future climate scenario prediction (decrease in rainfall and increase in temperature), the favourability for growth of B. halimifolia will continue to decrease in Queensland and its distribution may move further south into New South Wales and Victoria. We conclude that climate alone may have had a significant effect on the distribution and abundance of B. halimifolia and future priorities for management of B. halimifolia should focus on its southern distribution. Determining the success of the biological control programme in isolation from the observed climate effects will be difficult. Given the likelihood of future climate change worldwide evaluation of biological control programmes in general will need to also account for climate effects. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Keyword Groundsel bush
Biological control
CLIMEX
Climate change
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 09 Jul 2010, 14:43:40 EST by Joni Taylor on behalf of School of Biological Sciences