African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata) as an environmental weed in eastern Australia: a review

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    African Olive, Oleacuropaea subsp. cuspidata (Wall.exG.Don) Cif. (family Oleaceae) is a dense-crowned tree introduced into Australia for horticulture in the mid 19th century. In recent decades, African Olive has become an aggressive woody weed, capable of forming a dense and permanent canopy in a wide range of vegetation types in south-west Sydney and beyond. Characteristics of African Olive invasion in south-west Sydney, and its seed dispersal by frugivorous birds are consistent with experience from Norfolk Island and Hawaii. We use records and aerial photographs from Mount Annan Botanic Garden and other bushland areas in south-west Sydney to describe the invasion stages and impacts of African Olive. The capacity for African Olive to establish in both temperate and subtropical zones, underlie the potential for spread well beyond current distribution in New South Wales. Research is now required to further develop control techniques and ecological restoration strategies for areas of heavy African Olive infestation. Mapping of current locations and a coordinated control strategy for African Olive is required to prevent future permanent loss of native plant diversity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)545-557
    Number of pages13
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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