Wandering trad

Wandering trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) is an herbaceous groundcover environmental weed that forms dense swathes along the forest floor, particularly in moist riparian zones. It is prevalent in moist forests of eastern NSW where it adversely affects biodiversity.

This sub-project undertook large-scale releases and evaluation of the leaf-smut fungus Kordyana brasiliensis for the biocontrol of wandering trad throughout eastern NSW. The project commenced in July 2020 and concluded in June 2023.

The key activities of the sub-project were to:

  • Supply material of the biocontrol agent for community releases in NSW via post or at workshops.
  • Establish monitoring plots throughout the range of the weed in NSW and gather baseline vegetation data.
  • Assess establishment and spread of the agent at monitoring plots over three years post-release, including its impacts on the abundance of the host weed and diversity of native vegetation.

The investment by the NSW Environmental Trust built on previous significant investments made by other organisations outside Australia, the CSIRO, and the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. These previous investments supported the research that underpinned the release approval for this biocontrol agent in Australia: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/policy/risk-analysis/biological-control-agents/risk-analyses/completed-risk-analyses/ra-release-kordyana-brasiliensis

Details about the NSW Environmental Trust project, including results of all community engagements and post-release monitoring data can be found here: https://research.csiro.au/wandering-trad/.

For further information, please contact project coordinator Dr Ben Gooden via email: Ben.Gooden@csiro.au

An infestation of wandering trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) at Kangaroo Valley, NSW.

Example of severe disease symptoms caused by the biocontrol agent Kordyana brasiliensis on wandering trad at Dorrigo National Park, NSW.