Eve White, from QUT's School of Natural Resource Sciences, has been investigating the effect weeds can have on native plants especially when foliage eating insects, also known as herbivores, are involved.
"While many plants need insects to reproduce there are many insects that simply feed off plants and this is having an effect on natives," she said,
"Some weed species receive all of the benefits of visiting pollinators but none of the negative consequences of herbivores."
Ms White said while pollinators - insects that carry pollen from one flower to another facilitating fertilisation - visited weeds and natives, the attack by herbivores may have an unfair advantage for the weed.
"Essentially it may give weeds the upper hand over native plants," she said.
"What I wanted to see was the herbivores eating the weeds, but this was not the case.
"Herbivores demonstrated a preference for the native plant, causing higher levels of damage to the foliage of the native both in the field and in laboratory trials."
Ms White said her study also found that while pollinators were not ignoring natives, their interest in weeds was producing a hybrid native/weed species of seed.
"In many cases when hybrids are created they are not as healthy as the original plant and this is what I have seen," she said.
"What I have found is the hybrid's seeds are not able to survive into maturity. The reproductive effort is therefore being wasted."
Ms White said the survival of many of Australia's native plants was at risk because of weed infestation.
"It is essential to understand what is occurring to our native plants so that strategies can be developed to protect them."
Ms White's field research was undertaken in Lamington National Park, Queen Mary Falls and the Bunya Mountains.Media contact
Sandra Hutchinson | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy