Fewer taxonomy skills are allowing weeds to creep in
By Australasian Systematic Botany Society
A Western Australian academic, Margaret Collins, has drawn attention to how invasive weeds can be allowed to establish in a region by simply being mis-identified. In a case study of Crotalaria pallida, two instances are described where this invasive weed has inadvertently been allowed to grow. One instance was in a university greenhouse where a mis-identified seed sample led the researcher to believe the seed was a Lupinus species. The second case was outside the Western Australian Herbarium, where a plant was growing from commercially obtained 'native plant seed'.
Most disturbingly, the government response was reported as being that this weed was unlikely to be a problem and that there were insufficient resources to react to 'anything other than the most dire of biosecurity threats'.
The combination of reduced taxonomic skills and inadequate resourcing can lead to weeds being allowed to establish.
Read the full article on the Australasian Systematic Botany Society website.