African Lovegrass treatment plots 2015
Using Fire to Manage Priority Weeds in Cumberland Plain vegetation: African Lovegrass
This project conducted in north-western Sydney trialled integrated fire and weed management in sites at Cattai and Scheyville National Parks with infestations of African Lovegrass. A booklet is available providing details of the design and outcomes of the trials conducted from 2013 to 2016.
A project team of scientists and land managers in Western Sydney has trialed integrated fire and herbicide treatments to manage African Lovegrass and support restoration of native vegetation. African Lovegrass infests large areas of southeast and southwest Australia, smothering the understorey of native woodlands, choking out productive agricultural pasturelands, and costing public and private land managers millions of dollars to control.
The project findings demonstrate clear benefits from combining the use of fire and herbicide. Charles Morris from Western Sydney University said:
Download project booklet
“African Lovegrass has proven to be a very difficult weed to control. It regrows quickly after fire, outcompeting native species, and when poisoned it creates a thick thatch that inhibits the germination of native species. Combining the use of fire and herbicide seems to be the answer. The Lovegrass sward is consumed by the fire, and the herbicide limits Lovegrass re-sprouting and germination. The current trials have demonstrated that it is possible to break the dominance of African Lovegrass, even in the most disturbed sites.”