Abstract: During November 1997, an extreme rainfall event caused flooding in the Olary Creek and created a terminal lake within mallee vegetation on Nagaela Station, far western New South Wales. To assess the effect of this rare event on native flora, six 25×25m2 grazing exclusion plots were established on flooded (4), and un-flooded control (2) areas. We investigated (i) the distribution of Nicotiana glauca in relation to the 1997 flooding event (ii) the variation in density of N. glauca soil-stored seed between soil in control and exclosure plots (iii) the allelopathic effects of N. glauca on germination of Lactuca sativa seeds. Analysis of N. glauca stem sections revealed a maximum of five growth rings, confirming an origin following the 1997 flood event. At a September 1998 assessment, no N. glauca were found across flooded and control plots. In October 2000 N. glauca occurred at densities of 24 and 12 N. glauca seedlings ha−1 in the flooded unfenced and fenced plots respectively. No N. glauca individuals were recorded either from control fenced or unfenced plots. The soil-stored seed study revealed that larger numbers of N. glauca seeds were recovered from the flooded open plot (1936±968) than in flooded fenced plots (856±428.12) but none was found in the control plots. Leachates obtained from dry leaves and twigs had a significantly greater negative impact (p>0.001) on germination of L. sativa seeds than leachates obtained from fresh leaves and bark. This study showed that the density of N. glauca is high in areas where grazing had eliminated competition from native shrubs and grasses. N. glauca is potentially a serious weed along the Olary Creek and ephemeral lake boundaries. Management strategies such as reducing grazing pressure from native and introduced animals and/or effective eradication programs should be adopted, to minimize further infestation.
Florentine, S. K., Westbrooke, M. E., 2005, Invasion of the noxious weed Nicotiana glauca R. Graham after an episodic flooding event in the arid zone of Australia, Volume:60, Journal Article, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14741.