Upper Mary Valley Weed Vine Control
Case study type
1 September 2021
15 June 2022
This project supports Hinterland Bushlinks through the control of weed vines in the Elaman Creek and Cedar Creek catchments which are tributaries of the Mary River, just north of the Conondale township. The target species are Madeira Vine and Cats Claw Creeper which have previously been mapped. Madeira Vine is particularly extensive in this area and the eradication of both vines is urgent, given their capacity for dispersing propagules downstream to the main trunk of the Mary River.
The total area of weed control is 29.1 ha. The mapped weed control sites have been superimposed on the Regional Ecosystem remnant vegetation mapping for the area. This indicates that eradication of these weed vines will protect at least 30 ha of non-infested stretches of these streams. In addition, this may prevent infestation or re-infestation of many hundreds of hectares downstream in the Mary River, by propagules carried by passive flow and flood-waters. By restoring the health of vegetation affected by weed vines, natural regeneration can occur and support the expansion of these sites.
The Lowland Subtropical Rainforest that is typical of the weed vine infestation sites, contains a number of flora and fauna species. Both threatened and common species may benefit from the increase in shelter, feeding and breeding sites resulting from the suppression of smothering weed vines and the emergence of natural regeneration. Eradication of these weed vines will prevent tree death and subsequent stream bank erosion, siltation and loss of shading that result. Nationally endangered species such as the giant barred frog, Mary River turtle, Mary River cod and Australian lungfish, may all benefit from the stabilisation of riparian vegetation.
Other nationally threatened species that may benefit from improved habitat are the black-breasted button-quail, marbled frogmouth, and slender milkvine marsdenia coronata. The threatened Richmond birdwing butterfly may benefit from the protection of its host vine. A wide-range of other species that play a role in key ecological processes such as rainforest seed dispersal (wompoo and rose-crowned fruit-doves) and pollination (honeyeaters, flying-foxes), may be supported by the improved health of canopy trees.
Plant species that will benefit from weed vine control, both from immediate smothering and increased ability to regenerate, include pioneer species such as Casuarina cunninghamiana, Melaleuca bracteata, Homalanthus nutans, Acacia melanoxylon, Macaranga tanarius and Trema tomentose; secondary species such as Guioa semiglauca, Ficus coronata, Syzygium floribundum, and later stage species such as Araucaria bidwilli, Ficus macrophylla, Ficus virens and Argyrodendron trifoliolatum. Ground cover has also recovered at most sites including species such as Aneilema acuminatum, Oplismenus sp., Ottochloa gracillima, and Commelina diffusa.
Last updated: 24 November 2021
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2021) Upper Mary Valley Weed Vine Control, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2024. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/resources/tools/wetland-project/upper-mary-valley-weed-vine-control-6659/