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Introduced Species that are Naturalised Index of indicators

Indicator description

Why is it indicative

What does the data show

Data

Acknowledgment

Indicator description

The number of introduced terrestrial, marine and freshwater species found in Tasmania that have become naturalised (i.e. once introduced species have established self supporting populations in the wild, they are termed naturalised).

Why is it indicative

Naturalised species are a serious threat to Tasmania's natural environment. They displace and degrade native species and communities and contribute significantly to land and water degradation. Any increase in the number of naturalised species is reflected in degradation of the natural environment. Some naturalised species have become such a problem that they are known as pests.

What does the data show

  • Most of the naturalised species in Tasmania are invertebrates (e.g. wasps) (54.6%), followed by vascular plants (e.g. blackberries) (41%), vertebrates (cats) (3.4%), non-vascular plants (e.g. mosses, seaweeds) (0.4%) and species belonging to the group Urochordata (e.g. ascidians, sea squirt, salps) (0.17%), Fungi (0.06%) and Chromista (e.g. root rot) (0.17%). Although only 16% of these species have become pests, the pests have caused widespread environmental problems. Also as these is often a considerable delay (many decades) between introduced species becoming established and then becoming pests it is highly likely that the percentage of pest species will increase in future even without further introductions.
     

Data

Native, naturalised and pest species in Tasmania, 2001.

Group

Native (no.)

Naturalised (no.)

Pests (no.)

Vascular plants

Broadleaved Plants (Dicotyledons) (1, 2, 5, 23)

958

504

133

Grasses, sedges, lilies (Monocotyledons) (1, 2, 5)

591

210

27

Conifers (Gymnosperms) (1, 2, 5)

11

1

1

Ferns (Pteridophytes) (1, 5)

99

1

0

Total

1,659

716

162

Non-vascular plants

Red macro algae (Rhodophyta) (2,16)

421

4

0

Brown macro algae (Phaeophyta) (2, 16, 8)

144

2

1

Green macro algae (Chlorophyta) (2, 16)

63

1

0

Mosses, liverworts (Bryophytes) (6, 7)

631

0

0

Total

1,259

7

1

Fungi

Lichens (lichenised fungi) (4)

~1,000

0

0*

Mushrooms (non-lichenised fungi) (3, 22)

Unknown*

1

0*

Total

~1,000

1*

0*

Chromista

Watermoulds, blights, downy mildews (Oomycota) (2)

Unknown*

1*

1*

Diatoms, dinoflagellates (3, 24)

~150

2

2

Total

150*

3*

3*

Vertebrate animals

Mammals (Mammalia) (2, 9)

79

17

15

Birds (Aves) (2, 9)

203

31

12

Lizards, snakes (Reptilia) (2, 9)

27

1

0

Frogs (Amphibia) (9)

11

0

0

Freshwater fish (2, 8, 10)

25

9

5

Saltwater fish (11, 12)

461

2

0

Total

806

60

32

Urochordata

Urochordata (ascidians, sea squirt, salps) (12, 14, 16)

?#

3

0

Total

?#

3

0

Invertebrates

Earthworms, leeches, marine worms (Annelida) (8, 15, 16)

250

30

1

Spiders, scorpions, pseudo-scorpions, ticks, mites (Arthropoda/Chelicerata) (2, 14, 17, 18, 19)

2,419

356

11

Crabs, lobsters, shrimps, amphipods, isopods, barnacles (Arthropoda/Crustacea) (2, 8, 12, 14, 15)

509

8

2

Insects (Arthropoda/Insecta) (2, 14, 25)

7,439

255

53

Centipedes, millipedes (Arthropoda/Myriapoda) (2, 15)

200

16

2

Lantern shells (not true shells)(Brachiopoda)

?#

1

0

Jellyfish, anemones, hydra (Cnidaria) (14, 16)

96

7

0

Starfish, sea urchins (Echinodermata) (8, 14)

135

3

1

Bryzoa (lace coral)(Ectoprocta) (12)

?#

2

0

Bivalves, snails, squid, octopus (Mollusca) (8, 15, 16)

1,500

33

4

Roundworms (Nematoda) (21)

120

0

0

Hair worms (Nematomorpha) (21)

2

0

0

Velvet worms (Onychophora) (15)

20

0

0

Flatworms (Platyhelminthes) (15, 16)

30

4

0

Sponges (Porifera)(14, 16)

440

0

0

Foraminifera and other single celled animals (Protozoa)

?#

?#

?#

Freshwater microfauna (Rotifera) (20)

13

237

0

Total

13,173

952

74

Grand total

~18,047

1,742

271

  • This summary does not include subspecies or varieties.
     
  • The number of naturalised species is likely to be underestimated for groups that are comparatively less well-researched. For example, knowledge is greater for vascular plants and vertebrate animals compared to non-vascular plants, invertebrates and species belonging to the Kingdoms Fungi (true fungi) and Chromista.
     
  • * denotes that the majority of species belonging to the Kingdoms fungi (true fungi) and Chromista are undescribed and therefore it is difficult to ascertain the number of native and naturalised species. It is estimated that between 5-30% of species belonging to these groups have been described. Thus the numbers given for these groups is likely to be significantly underestimated.
     
  • ?# denotes no data could be obtained.
     
  • A pest includes:
     
    • Species considered a pest by relevant management authorities (e.g. DPIWE, CSIRO Division of Marine Research, the Inland Fisheries Service).
       

Source: 1 Buchanan (1999), 2 Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment; 3 University of Tasmania; 4 Tasmanian Herbarium; 5 Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999; 6 Dalton et. al. (1991); 7 Ratkowsky (1987); 8 Fisheries (General and Fees) Regulations 1996; 9 Stanger et al. (1998); 10 Fulton (1990); 11 Last, Scott and Talbot (1983); 12 Furlani (1996); 13 James Cook University - Townsville; 14 Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; 15 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery; 16 CSIRO Marine Research; 17 Roberts (1970), 18 Queensland Museum; 19 Western Australian Museum, 20 CSIRO Land and Water CRCFE/Murray-Darling Freshwater Resource Centre, 21 Sustainable Development Advisory Council (1996), 22 Fuhrer and Robinson (1992), 23 Hyde-Wyatt and Morris (1975), 24 Australian Ballast Water Management Advisory Council and 25 Forestry Tasmania.


Vascular Plants

Broad leaved plants (Dicotyledons)

Grasses, sedges, lilies, orchids (Monocotyledons).

Conifers (Gymnospermae).

Ferns (Pteridophytes).

A full list of Tasmania's naturalised species can also be viewed at the current (third) edition of the Census of the vascular plants of Tasmania online available through the Tasmanian Herbarium website.

Non-vascular Plants

All non-vascular plants

Vertebrate Animals

Mammals

Birds

Lizards, snakes

Frogs: there are no introduced frog species in Tasmania.

Saltwater fish.

Freshwater fish

Invertebrate Animals

All invertebrate species. Long-term trend data for introduced species numbers in Tasmania is only available for plant species

The first introduced plant species list in Tasmania was compiled in 1878 by the Reverend W.W. Spicer (Rozfelds and Mackenzie 1999). At this time 104 naturalised species were identified from 80 genera. In addition to this over 50 non-native species were considered to be present, but were not yet naturalised. Of these 50 species over 90% are now naturalised in Tasmania.

Naturalised plants in Tasmania (1878 to 1999)

Group

1878 species
(genera)

1999 species
(genera)

Broad leaved plants (Dicotyledons)

81 (63)

504 (272)

Grasses, sedges, lilies, orchids (Monocotyledons)

23 (17)

210 (96)

Conifers (Gymnosperms)

0

1 (1)

Ferns, club mosses (Pteroiodphytes)

0

1 (1)

Total

104 (80)

716 (370)

This summary does not include subspecies or varieties.

Source: 1999 data from Buchanan (1999) and 1878 data from Rozefelds and Mackenzie (1999).


Naturalised plants in Tasmania (1800 to 1999).

Acknowledgment

State of the Environment - Tasmanian Indicator (related to Core Biodiversity Indicator BD 4, Saunders et. al. 1998).

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