The Interaction between Fire and Weeds: A booklet for landholders in NSW
This booklet is a welcome addition to the series of booklets issued by the Hotspots Fire Project to provide landholders with information about vegetation communities, fire ecology and fire management. It provides advice about weeds and fire for owners and managers of properties with native vegetation across New South Wales. The booklet draws on the scientific research detailed in a literature review and utilises expert advice and practical experiences to help landholders understand fire and weed interactions.
The booklet has been developed to provide advice about weeds and fire for owners and managers of properties with bushland across NSW. It is logically set out and easy to follow, first introducing the relationship between fire and native vegetation, then moving on to the relationship of weeds within different vegetation types, as well as some of the factors which influence the interaction between fire and weeds. In-depth case studies are then described, looking at practical examples of the use of fire and herbicides in the treatment of specific weeds, as well as outlining how to monitor changes in vegetation.
What are the key messages?
Weeds affect almost all landholdings in NSW, and in particular cause significant impacts in areas of native vegetation, with landholders often spending considerable time, effort and resources in trying to manage areas infested by weeds.
The key messages for landholders are:
- It is important to have a good understanding of the native vegetation communities on your property
- Identify the weed species and their extent on your land and adjacent properties before considering the use of fire to manage areas of native vegetation
- Understanding the potential responses to fire, both of the native vegetation and of the weeds, is difficult, but very important
- It is essential to know the characteristics of your land before integrating fire with other management practices to protect and restore native vegetation and help manage weeds.
As well as looking at how weeds interact according to the characteristics of the different broad vegetation types that occur in NSW, the booklet details five case studies where fire has been an integral component in reducing the impact of particular weed species, with a focus also on the region of the study. The primary weeds covered by the case studies are:
- African Lovegrass
- Setaria grass
The case studies highlight the importance of having specific objectives when implementing fire and the need to complement the fire with other weed management activities. They also show how important it is to observe the vegetation responses to fire and to adapt ongoing management of weeds according to post-fire responses.
Share your experiences
It is important that all new knowledge that is garnered through fire and weed management cases is shared so that other landholders can use this information and consider their weed management regimes accordingly.
This ongoing incorporation of new material will be greatly helped by landholders and land managers passing on new information so it can be distributed for the benefit of others working in the fire and weed management area.
Please note: The complementary Hotspots review document – ‘Fire, Weeds and the Native Vegetation of New South Wales‘ was released in March 2018 and is available here.