Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Weeds survive the wild better than natives

Weeds are winning the battle when it comes to surviving in the wild with foliage eating insects preferring the taste of native plants, according to a study by Queensland University of Technology.

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, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2130 or

Sandra Hutchinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>