Athel Pine Reduction Program

Document Sample
Athel Pine Reduction Program Powered By Docstoc
					    Athel Pine Reduction Program
    This two-year Defeating the Weed Menace project
    aims to identify where all Athel Pines are located
    within the SA Arid Lands NRM region and the
    Alinytjara Wilurara NRM region are. Athel Pines are
    a Weed of National Significance species and pose a
    real threat to water ways in the Arid Lands region.
    Once all planted and naturalised infestations of
    Athel Pine are located, this information will be used
    to develop a management plan and prioritise where
    control is urgently require. Land managers will be
    assisted to remove the weeds through a variety of
    For more information contact John Pitt on 08 8842 Athel Pines at an old homestead.
    6261 or                      Photo Ben Shepherd

Please scroll down to read media release.
Program Attacks National Weed Menace in SA

The South Australian Arid Lands (SAAL) NRM Board has successfully obtained funding
to address the threat posed by Athel Pine (Tamarix aphylla) in the SAAL and Alinytjara
Wilurara (AW) NRM regions.

Athel Pine is a weed of national
significance. It is regarded as one of
the worst weeds in Australia
because      of     its  invasiveness,
potential for spread, and economic
and environmental impacts.

This project aims to identify where
athel pines are located, prioritise and
carry out control and increase
awareness of the threat that Athel
Pines pose to arid rivers. Both NRM
Boards will take strategic measures
to avoid further spread and
establishment of athel pine in the         Athel Pines are a common occurrence at old homesteads.
regions.                                                 Photograph by Ben Shepherd

This tree is extremely hardy in harsh arid conditions, and once established, athel pine
forms dense stands that compete with native species, alter the flow of watercourses,
reduce the total grazing area available and hinder the mustering of stock. But it was not
until the late 1980’s that it was declared a major pest.

Athel pine concentrates salt, making the ground beneath the pines saltier and excludes
native pasture grasses and other salt sensitive plants. Because they are drought tolerant
and fire resistant, athel pines decrease the frequency of fires and alter vegetation
structure. Along the Finke River it forms mono-specific stands at the expense of the
River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis).

Athel pine forms dense stands along inland rivers, consuming water more quickly than
native plants, thereby reducing the number and quality of watering holes. It can change
river flow patterns and cause overland flooding and bank erosion. Athel pines often trap
sediments that wash downstream, creating new sandbars or adding to existing ones and
the deeply penetrating roots often lower the water table.

At present, occurrences of athel pine in these regions consist of amenity plantings as
well as a few scattered naturalised infestations. The locality of many amenity plantings
present a real threat of new infestations occurring. Historically, athel pines have been
planted around the majority of community settlements, townships, campsites, railway
sidings and homesteads.

On-ground surveys are planned for November to determine the distribution of some
naturalised infestations in the SAAL region and various locations within the AW region.

If you know if any populations or single plants that pose a threat to an arid river or creek,
contact us and we can assist you to remove them. For more information contact Rural
Solutions SA in Port Augusta office on 08 8648 5160.
                                                                                  Page 1 of 1

Shared By:
Description: Athel Pine Reduction Program