Developing effective management solutions for controlling stinking passionflower (Passiflora foetida) and promoting the recovery of native biodiversity in Northern Australia

Abstract

Invasive alien plants pose a growing threat to native biodiversity and are a burden to local livelihoods through their impacts on cultural values, agriculture, farming and tourism. A prime example of this is stinking passionflower (Passiflora foetida), a herbaceous vine that has invaded across the global tropics, including vast tracts of remote northern Australia. Yet despite its ubiquity in the landscape and growing concerns about its impacts on native biodiversity, surprisingly little is known about how to effectively control stinking passionflower. To address this knowledge gap, we established an 18 month long field experiment in the semi-arid Pilbara region of Western Australia to (i) understand seasonal variation in the growth phenology of stinking passionflower and identify optimal time windows for management; (ii) compare the effectiveness of different methods for controlling stinking passionflower, including both physical removal and chemical treatments; and (iii) understand the knock-on implications of these treatments for the recruitment of new cohorts of stinking passionflower seedlings and the recovery of native plant species. We found that biomass growth was tightly coupled with rainfall events, which are largely unpredictable in the study region. We also found substantial differences in the effectiveness of the different control treatments we trialled, with glyphosate foliar spray proving highly effective while plants recovered quickly following stem cutting. However, the application of glyphosate foliar spray without the removal of the dead biomass resulted in the rapid regeneration of stinking passionflower seedlings, whereas native plant species largely failed to recover.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Anonymous (1854) Flower show on 30 December 1854, p 5. The Sydney Morning Herald. Charles Kemp and John Fairfax, Sydney, Australia

  2. Austin AT, Vivanco L (2006) Plant litter decomposition in a semi-arid ecosystem controlled by photodegradation. Nature 442:555–558. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05038

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Blackburn TM, Pyšek P, Bacher S et al (2011) A proposed unified framework for biological invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 26:333–339. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.TREE.2011.03.023

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Blackwell and Cala (1979) Vegetation and floristics of the Burrup Peninsula. Prepared for Woodside Petroleum Development Pty Ltd, North West Shelf Development Project. Blackwell and Cala Landscape Consultants, Perth, Western Australia

  5. Brooks ME, Kristensen K, van Benthem KJ et al (2017) glmmTMB balances speed and flexibility among packages for zero-inflated generalized linear mixed modeling. R J 9:378–400. https://doi.org/10.32614/rj-2017-066

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Cornish PS, Burgin S (2005) Residual effects of glyphosate herbicide in ecological restoration. Restor Ecol 13:695–702. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2005.00088.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. de Oliveira MT, Damasceno-Junior GA, Pott A et al (2014) Regeneration of riparian forests of the Brazilian Pantanal under flood and fire influence. For Ecol Manag 331:256–263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2014.08.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Douma JC, Weedon JT (2019) Analysing continuous proportions in ecology and evolution: a practical introduction to beta and Dirichlet regression. Methods Ecol Evol 10:1412–1430. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13234

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Ehrenfeld JG (2010) Ecosystem consequences of biological invasions. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 41:59–80. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144650

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Florencia FM, Carolina T, Enzo B, Leonardo G (2017) Effects of the herbicide glyphosate on non-target plant native species from Chaco forest (Argentina). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 144:360–368. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ECOENV.2017.06.049

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Fravel DR (2005) Commercialization and implementation of biocontrol. Annu Rev Phytopathol 43:337–359. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.phyto.43.032904.092924

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. He KS, Rocchini D, Neteler M, Nagendra H (2011) Benefits of hyperspectral remote sensing for tracking plant invasions. Divers Distrib 17:381–392. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00761.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Heap I, Duke SO (2018) Overview of glyphosate-resistant weeds worldwide. Pest Manag Sci 74:1040–1049. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.4760

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Holm L, Doll J, Holm E et al (1997) World weeds: natural histories and distribution. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  15. Holtze M (1892) Introduced plants in the Northern Territory. Trans Proc Rep R Soc South Aust 4:1–4

    Google Scholar 

  16. Lenth R (2020) emmeans: estimated marginal means, aka least-squares means. R package version 1.4.5. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=emmeans. Accessed Mar 2020

  17. Lindenmayer DB, Wood J, MacGregor C et al (2017) Non-target impacts of weed control on birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecosphere 8:e01804. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1804

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Long V, Fitzpatrick B, Pozzari D, Webber BL, Yeoh PB, Bonney C (2016) Generating insight to underpin improved weed management and consequent protection of Aboriginal sites on the Burrup Peninsula. In: Twentieth Australasian Weeds Conference. Council of Australasian weed societies, Perth, pp 300

  19. Pillans B, Fifield LK (2013) Erosion rates and weathering history of rock surfaces associated with Aboriginal rock art engravings (petroglyphs) on Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia, from cosmogenic nuclide measurements. Quat Sci Rev 69:98–106. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.QUASCIREV.2013.03.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. R Core Development Team (2019) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria

    Google Scholar 

  21. Richardson D, Pysek P, Rejmanek M et al (2000) Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Divers Distrib 6:93–107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Sammons RD, Gaines TA (2014) Glyphosate resistance: state of knowledge. Pest Manag Sci 70:1367–1377. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.3743

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Seebens H, Blackburn TM, Dyer EE et al (2017) No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nat Commun 8:14435. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14435

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  24. Simberloff D, Martin J-L, Genovesi P et al (2013) Impacts of biological invasions: what’s what and the way forward. Trends Ecol Evol 28:58–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.TREE.2012.07.013

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Somaweera R, Brien ML, Platt SG et al (2018) Direct and indirect interactions with vegetation shape crocodylian ecology at multiple scales. Freshw Biol 64:257–268. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13221

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Vanderplank J (2013) A revision of Passiflora section Dysosmia. Curtis’s Bot Mag 30:318–387

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Webber BL, Yeoh PB, Scott JK (2014) Invasive Passiflora foetida in the Kimberley and Pilbara: understanding the threat and exploring solutions. CSIRO, Perth

  28. Williamson M, Fitter A (1996) The varying success of invaders. Ecology 77:1661–1666. https://doi.org/10.2307/2265769

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Pilbara Ports Authority and Woodside Energy. We thank the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation for their engagement on cultural and heritage matters.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bruce L. Webber.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 704 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jucker, T., Long, V., Pozzari, D. et al. Developing effective management solutions for controlling stinking passionflower (Passiflora foetida) and promoting the recovery of native biodiversity in Northern Australia. Biol Invasions 22, 2737–2748 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02295-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Herbicide trials
  • Invasive species
  • Weed management
  • Off-target impacts
  • Plant phenology
  • Pilbara