The Annual Pest Distribution Survey (APDS) collects information on the distribution and abundance of the most important established and emerging invasive plant and animal species in Queensland. The APDS is a consistent gridded (17 km x 17 km) spatial data set spanning the entire state over 2003-2014, with another survey currently in preparation (2018 – 2020). It captures regional knowledge from on-ground state and local government pest officers in a standardized form. Aggregate measures of weed invasions derived from the APDS have previously been used in State of the Environment reporting. Information from selected annual surveys can be accessed by stakeholders via the Queensland Spatial Catalogue - BQ’s Interactive Weed Map, or as PDF maps. However, there has been little analysis/interrogation of the data set to measure its utility. In 2018-2019, we explored the APDS data to document changes in distribution and abundance with time of more than 100 focal species. The exploration provided us with “snapshots” of invasion curves, including spread rates, at various spatial scale- from regional to statewide levels.


However, the APDS record covers at best only the last 20 years, and hence it is difficult to infer the correctness of invasion curve from the plot of time against distribution or abundance for such a limited time-specific dataset. In order words, for a given pest species in a region or statewide, we do not know its exact position on the invasion curve.  Herbarium records can fill the gap, providing opportunity to look back and analyze the temporal and spatial dynamics of phyto-geographical phenomena (i.e., to reconstruct patterns of biological invasions).  This project will combine APDS and herbarium records (HERBRECS) to generate and describe “complete” invasion curves for our focal species. Such invasion curves can be included as part of pest fact sheets. They are also valuable to QLD Government to inform or confirm management actions

Project members

Professor Steve Adkins

Principal Research Fellow
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences