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Strategies For Controlling Weeds In Natural Ecosystems: A Dynamic Optimisation Approach


  • Odom, Doreen I.S.
  • Cacho, Oscar J.
  • Sinden, Jack A.
  • Griffith, Garry R.


Scotch Broom is a serious environmental weed in Barrington Tops National Park and the surrounding areas. It poses a significant threat of reducing the diversity of flora in invaded ecosystems and generating a false understorey. It also harbours feral pigs, which perpetuate the cycle of disturbance. To address problems caused by Scotch Broom in the 10000 hectares already invaded and the threat of further invasion, it is vital to understand why this species is able to invade and persist in Australian ecosystems. Such understanding will be the key to developing effective management strategies, both to prevent further invasions and to suppress dominance of Scotch Broom. The budget available for weed control, pests control, and other activities in the Park, is limited and so managers must identify control strategies that are efficient and sustainable. A deterministic dynamic programming model is developed for this purpose in this paper. A simulation model, which captures Broom population dynamics, was developed first and takes account of two state variables, which are then incorporated in the dynamic program. The dynamic programming model contains these two state variables and five control variables. The state variables are the area occupied by Scotch Broom and the seed bank. The control variables are excluding tourists, manual pulling, herbicide application, feral pig control and biological control. We acknowledge the help of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for providing us with the information required by the models. The National Parks and Wildlife Service already has an effective containment strategy for Broom. In the present paper, we attempt to develop a management strategy that covers the park area and surrounding agricultural areas. Preliminary results are presented and further information requirements are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Odom, Doreen I.S. & Cacho, Oscar J. & Sinden, Jack A. & Griffith, Garry R., 2001. "Strategies For Controlling Weeds In Natural Ecosystems: A Dynamic Optimisation Approach," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125810, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare01:125810

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Kennedy & Kristin Jakobsson, 1993. "Optimal Timber Harvesting for Wood Production and Wildlife Habitat," Working Papers 1993.14, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
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    1. Odom, Doreen I.S. & Cacho, Oscar J. & Sinden, Jack A. & Griffith, Garry R., 2002. "Polocies for the Management of Weeds in Natural Ecosystems: A Dynamic Programming Approach," 2002 Conference (46th), February 13-15, 2002, Canberra 125143, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Odom, Doreen I.S. & Griffith, Garry R. & Sinden, Jack A., 2001. "Using Aerial Mapping To Analyse The Density And Spread Of Scotch Broom," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125803, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Odom, Doreen I. S. & Cacho, Oscar J. & Sinden, J. A. & Griffith, Garry R., 2003. "Policies for the management of weeds in natural ecosystems: the case of scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius, L.) in an Australian national park," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 119-135, February.
    4. Odem, Doreen & Sinden, Jack A. & Cacho, Oscar J. & Griffith, Garry R., 2003. "Economic Issues in the Management of Plants Invading Natural Environments: Scotch Broom in Barrington Tops National Park," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58193, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.


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