The Australian Government has listed lantana as one of the country’s worst weeds. It is expanding its range further south and inland and it is important to understand how it might progress and further compromise Australian landscapes.
The Blue Mountains region was taken as a case study for investigating the potential spread of lantana because Blue Mountains City Council is very interested in maintaining the effectiveness of its weed control operations and better understanding the potential threats new arrivals might pose.
This research aimed to develop a habitat suitability model for lantana in a portion of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area at present and under forecast warmer climates.
This work identified temperature as the most important environmental variable currently restricting lantana’s presence to the lower altitudes along the eastern reaches of the local government area. In view of the changes probably in store for the climate of the Blue Mountains, the research indicates it is imperative that management make efforts to reduce lantana’s population while it still has the help of cool winters and frequent frosts.