Research synthesis of gamba grass

Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) was introduced to northern Australia as a pasture species and has since invaded savanna ecosystems, impacting on biodiversity and fire regimes. Gamba grass is listed as a Weed of National Significance and there is a need to synthesise and present the large body of research on gamba grass and its impacts in a way that is easily accessible by land managers, policy-makers, educators and other researchers across northern Australia and beyond.

This project will synthesise the comprehensive research conducted on gamba grass under the National Environmental Science Program and its predecessors the National Environmental Research Programme and the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge research consortium. Key findings from the projects Fire and weeds in the Top End, Improving gamba grass control on Cape York Peninsula and Gamba grass effects on savanna carbon and fire, among others, will be synthesised into a visually appealing web resource aimed at meeting the high demand for information on gamba grass from those tasked with managing this invasive weed and also serve as a resource for education.

This project is:

  • synthesising a range of existing research on gamba grass in northern Australia
  • producing a user-friendly, web-based resource that integrates key research findings in visually appealing ways
  • assisting Traditional Owners, other land managers, decision-makers and educators in accessing and understanding research findings, supporting management activities, informing policy and raising awareness.

Project activities

  • consulting with research experts to elicit key research findings
  • engaging with relevant stakeholders to determine needs and provide feedback on drafts
  • developing the web resource to include different pages summarising research findings by topic, providing easy access to scientific papers, reports and factsheets and including visual elements such as photos, videos, animations and conceptual diagrams.

Anticipated outputs

This project will develop a visually attractive web-based resource to synthesise and explore research findings including

  • trajectories and impacts of gamba grass invasion
  • management options to control or eradicate gamba grass
  • the role of fire
  • case studies of management success.

This research applies across the Northern Hub region.

Northern Hub research area map

This project is being managed by Hub Science Communicator Jane Thomas. Gamba grass research experts Associate Professor Samantha Setterfield of The University of Western Australia and Dr Natalie Rossiter-Rachor of Charles Darwin University are guiding development of the web resource.

Contact: [email protected]

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  • Gamba can grow up to four metres tall and drastically alter native savanna landscapes. Photo by NESP Northern Hub.
  • This research synthesis will include information on the role of fire in gamba's life cycle. Photo by Sam Setterfield.
  • Case studies of gamba management success will also be highlighted through this synthesis project. Photo by NESP Northern Hub.
  • The project will also highlight the possible trajectories and impacts of landscapes affected by gamba infestations. Photo by NESP Northern Hub.