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> Invasive plants in Israel > Acacia cyclops A.Cunn.

Acacia cyclops A.Cunn.

Life form: Evergreen shrub or tree
En: Western Coastal Wattle, Fr: Acacia cyclops
Provenance: Southwest Australia

Distribution in Israel
The western coastal wattle occurs only in the Mediterranean region of Israel and is found locally in open areas in the central region, mostly in the Judean Hills. One of the main populations is located on the hill slopes of the Sha'ar Ha-Gay area on the northern side of the Jerusalem Tel Aviv Highway (Road 1). The spread of Acacia cyclops in this area is relatively recent and follows a large fire that occurred in the mid 1990s.

Proliferation status
Acacia cyclops in Israel is considered an invasive species, according to terminology suggested by Richardson et al. (2000).

Acacia cyclops in Israel
The western coastal wattle was introduced in Israel during the 1920s for afforestation purposes. It has been used in mixed plantations with Acacia saligna. Acacia cyclops was planted until very recently in the semiarid region of Israel, northeast of Beer-Sheva.
Acacia cyclops rarely forms pure stands in Israel but in association with Acacia saligna it can produce a dense cover and crowd out native vegetation

Unexpectedly, physical control of the western coastal wattle is effective: Individuals cut close to the ground generally do not resprout vigorously unlike Acacia saligna trees.
Cutting followed by controlled burnings significantly reduces the soil seed bank. The unusual efficiency of the mechanical control on Acacia cyclops is mainly due to its biological characteristics. It produces about a third as much seed annually as both Acacia saligna or Acacia longifolia. Moreover, Acacia cyclops seeds have a short dormancy period, not exceeding two years.
In the early 1990s a biological control experiment was set in South Africa with the release of a seed-feeding weevil native to Australia (Melanterius servulus). This method has so far proved very effective.

Impson F.A.C., Moran V.C. & Hoffmann J.H. (2004) Biological control of an alien tree, Acacia Cyclops, in South Africa: impact and dispersal of a seed-feeding weevil, Melanterius servulus. Biological Control 29:375-381.

Milton S.J. & Hall A.V. (1981) Reproductive biology of Australian Acacias in the south-western cape province of South Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 44(3):465-485.

Yelenik S.G., Stock W.D. & Richardson D.M. (2004) Ecosystem level impacts of invasive Acacia saligna in the South African fynbos. Restoration Ecology 12(1):44-51.

Last Modified: May 9th, 2006

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