Impact of Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum) establishment on relative plant biodiversity indices across New South Wales Australia

Dominik Skoneczny, Xiaocheng Zhu, Ragan Callaway, Leslie Weston

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Geographically distinct random populations of Echium plantagineum L. (Paterson’s curse)  were selected across New South Wales, Australia to  examine the impacts of Paterson’s curse interference  upon establishment and biodiversity of common  competitors, including both native and non-native herbaceous species.  At 16 study sites, 1 m2 quadrats in  undisturbed pastures, roadsides, croplands and natural  areas were used to evaluate stand counts of Paterson’s  curse and any other co-established vegetation. Data  collected included stand counts of all species present  and relative growth parameters related to selected  Paterson’s curse plants in each quadrat (including  height, leaf and stem length and number and reproductive stage). At the same location, quadrats without  Paterson’s curse were evaluated for relative plant biodiversity by collecting stand counts and identifying all established species. A biodiversity index was  calculated for each quadrat, using standard protocols.  In the area surrounding Cooma, New South Wales,  comparative counts were also taken in sites infested  with another related member of the Boraginaceae,    E. vulgare L. (viper’s bugloss). At the same time,  ecological surveys of Paterson’s curse were conducted  in the Iberian peninsula to investigate its impact on  biodiversity and plant establishment in its native range.  These studies will provide insight into the mechanisms  used by plant species for successful invasion in nonnative regions and the impacts of Paterson’s curse on  species biodiversity. We will discuss our findings from  year one surveys performed across Australia. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2014
Event19th Australasian Weeds Conference (2014) - Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 01 Sept 201404 Sept 2014 (Conference proceedings)


Conference19th Australasian Weeds Conference (2014)
Abbreviated titleScience, Community and Food Security: the Weed Challenge
Internet address

Grant Number

  • DP130104346


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