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Cabomba biological control

Close-up of cabomba leaves, stem and flowers

Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) is a submerged aquatic weed of permanent and slow moving water bodies; it affects water quality, recreational activities and public safety, and aquatic biodiversity. The cost of managing this weed of national significance is significant because it invades freshwater and potable water systems, where the use of chemical herbicides is restricted due to risks of non-target impacts. For example, the cost of managing cabomba using mechanical removal methods in four infested dams is in excess of $250,000/year. Therefore, as in the case of other aquatic weeds, biological control is likely to be an important component of the integrated management of this weed. CSIRO is collaborating with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on this project.

 

This research on cabomba is part of the project ‘Biocontrol solutions for sustainable management of weed impacts to agricultural profitability’ led by AgriFutures Australia (formerly the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)). This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme. Seqwater is acknowledged for its financial support to the cabomba component of the project.