Alert List for Environmental Weeds
Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 2003
ISBN 1 9209 3219 4
About the guide
Karroo thorn is on the Alert List for Environmental Weeds, a list of 28 non-native plants that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage. Although only in the early stages of establishment, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia's ecosystems.
Karroo thorn is one of southern Africa's most widespread trees but in many parts of this region it is considered a weed. A vigorous competitor, it can invade rangelands and open grasslands, particularly when land is overgrazed. Because it forms dense, thorny thickets, it can reduce agricultural productivity by suppressing the growth of grasses and adding to the costs of mustering, preventing stock movement and restricting watering.
The potential environmental impacts caused by the loss of native habitat to Karroo thorn would also be significant, especially because the conservation of native plants and animals in its potential range is already severely threatened by other factors (eg intense agriculture, urbanisation, feral animals).