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!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.08.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.08.2017 | Medical Engineering