Warming climate likely to increase tropical weed threat

11 February 2014
Christine Sheppard

Field trials by a School of Biological Sciences Phd student have demonstrated for the first time how the threat of invasive tropical weeds is likely to increase as our climate warms.

Over two years, Christine Sheppard, pictured, observed how three alien plant pests – the Australian bangalow palm, the Queensland umbrella tree and the guava – behaved under a range of climate conditions.

Her findings, accepted by Global Change Biology, pose a worrying problem for some of our native species, which risk being displaced by foreign invaders.