Invasive Plants and Conservation in Australia


One of the things I most enjoy about my suburb, Parramatta, is its walkability: there are endless parks and trails all within walking or biking distance, and I often find myself strolling about in my spare time. It is on one of those strolls that I encountered a familiar sight from home: Ipomoea indica, the ocean-blue morning glory. With trumpet-shaped flowers that shine like sapphires against its dark green leaves, the Florida native stood out starkly against the sea of Australian species that I’m still working to learn.

And yet, the sight was bittersweet. While the ocean-blue morning glory is native to Florida and offered a reminder of home, it acts as an invasive species here in Australia. Its vines, usually considered harmless and pretty along a Floridian forest edge, spread rapidly in Australian ecosystems and compete with populations of native plants. The contrast made me wonder more about how invasive species affect Australian ecosystems, so I decided to do some research.

What community need did I learn about?:

This week, I learned more about conservation of Australian ecosystems, particularly through the management of invasive species.