This research project has shown:
This animation of maps from Rossiter-Rachor et al. 2023 shows the surveyed and modelled distribution of the weed gamba grass in the Northern Territory’s Litchfield National Park from 2008–32.
Research from this project and others has been showcased in a new website ‘Gamba grass research synthesis’.
Research through the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program has helped land managers better understand the scale of the gamba problem, the serious threat it poses to biodiversity and how research can support successful gamba management approaches.
The new website showcases more than 2 decades of research into the invasive weed gamba grass.
You’ll find a sobering case study of the rapid spread of gamba in Litchfield National Park to cover 30,000 hectares, how gamba has significantly increased the cost of fire management to up to $100,000 for a single fire and how fine-scale herbicide application and reducing the frequency of gamba fires are helping rangers successfully manage gamba grass on Mary River National Park.
The research also highlights the cost of not funding gamba management – the longer you leave it, the more gamba spreads and the more costly management becomes.
Data, maps, photos, videos, animations and diagrams are used throughout to present the research in informative and easy-to-understand ways.
This is a ‘living’ website, meaning we’ll keep adding to it with findings from current and future research into this high-priority weed.
Rossiter-Rachor NA, Adams VM, Canham CA, Dixon DJ, Cameron TN and Setterfield SA (2023) 'The cost of not acting: delaying invasive grass management increases costs and threatens assets in a national park, northern Australia,' Journal of Environmental Management 333:116785, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.116785.
The Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub addressed key research questions to come up with practical, on-ground solutions to some of the north’s most complex environmental challenges. A transdisciplinary research approach has been at the heart of the hub. Integrating key research users – policy-makers and land managers including Traditional Owners and ranger groups – into the co-design of research projects has led to rapid uptake of research outcomes into land management practices and decision-making. The hub has produced this wrap-up video outlining these impacts from the perspectives of research users.
Shendryk, Y., Rossiter-Rachor. N.A.,Setterfield. S.A., & Levick. S.R. 2020. Leveraging high-resolution satellite imagery and gradient boosting for invasive weed mapping. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. DOI https://doi.org/10.1109/JSTARS.2020.3013663
Invasive gamba grass is transforming Australia’s northern savannas, replacing native species with a dense stand of highly flammable grass that burns up to eight times the intensity of native grasses. NESP research is helping the rangers at Mary River National Park in the Northern Territory turn this invasion around.
Setterfield, S., Clifton, P., Hutley, L., Rossiter-Rachor, N., & Douglas, M. (2018). Exotic grass invasion alters microsite conditions limiting woody recruitment potential in an Australian savanna. Scientific Reports, 8(1), Scientific Reports, 12/2018, Vol.8(1).
The project is being led by Dr Natalie Rossiter-Rachor from Charles Darwin University and Associate Professor Samantha Setterfield from The University of Western Australia with assistance from Dr Shaun Levick from CSIRO. The project team is working with Bushfires NT.
This project is due for completion in June 2021.
Natalie Rossiter-Rachor, Charles Darwin University
(08) 8946 6469