Weeds of National Significance
Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 2003
ISBN 1 9209 3216 X
About the guide
Salvinia is a Weed of National Significance. It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.
Salvinia is an aquatic weed that can choke waterways. It floats on still or slow-moving water and can grow rapidly to cover the entire water surface with a thick mat of vegetation. This shades out any submerged plant life and impedes oxygen exchange, making the water unsuitable for fish and other animals. Salvinia infestations reduce the natural beauty and biodiversity of wetlands.
A salvinia infestation can reach up to 400 tonnes of wet weight per hectare. Infestations are a major obstacle to the enjoyment and use of water. They block irrigation, cause flooding, pollute drinking water, and prevent recreational activities such as swimming, fishing and boating. Infestations can be dangerous to animals and people because the mats look like solid ground, and they provide an ideal breeding environment for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
|Extent in Australia||Potential distribution|
|WA, NT, QLD, NSW, SA||Could further expand in current locations; plus VIC, TAS, ACT|