Factors influencing the density of Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) in subtropical rainforest

Document Type


Publication details

Scherrer, P 1998, 'Factors influencing the density of Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) in subtropical rainforest', Honours thesis, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld.


A study conducted in Springbrook and Lamington National Parks by
Scherrer (1998) attempted to identify factors that influence the density
of Lantana camara and to assess the long-term persistence of lantana
and its capacity to spread into neighbouring vegetation.

The physical characteristics (light intensity, soil moisture, colour, pH
and conductivity, measures of vegetation disturbance, slope, aspect
and habitat type) of areas that have been infested by Lantana camara
were compared with areas that remain unaffected by lantana. The
edges of lantana patches were visually assessed for evidence of spread
or contraction.

The study revealed that factors associated with disturbance (treefalls,
landslips and canopy gaps) are critical in determining the density of
Lantana camara in Springbrook National Park. Soil variables, habitat
types or topographic conditions had no significant influence on the
density of lantana. The study therefore suggests that Lantana camara
has the capacity to invade any part of Springbrook National Park,
provided that it has been disturbed and that sufficient light is available
at the site. The clearance of vegetation to provide recreational
opportunities may therefore encourage the spread of lantana
infestation in Springbrook National Park. The study provided little
evidence however to suggest that lantana is capable of spreading to
undisturbed sections of rainforest once established but did indicate
that select native species have the capacity to reclaim areas infested
with lantana.