Navua sedge (Cyperus aromaticus (Ridley) Mattf. & Kukenth) is an invasive perennial sedge, native to tropical Africa, which is threatening many natural ecosystems and agroecosystems, especially in northern Queensland, Australia. Crop and pasture production have been impacted by Navua sedge and it is also directly causing reductions in dairy and beef production in affected regions. This review documents the biology, ecology and potential management options to minimise the spread and impact of Navua sedge. The weed reproduces both sexually (seeds) and vegetatively (via underground rhizomes). Its tiny seeds can be spread easily via wind, water, vehicles, farm machinery and animals, whilst the rhizomes assist with establishment of dense stands. The CLIMEX model (which uses distribution and climate data in native and novel ranges) indicates that in Australia, Navua sedge has the potential to spread further within Queensland and into the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria. Several management strategies, including mechanical, chemical and agronomic methods, and their integration will have to be used to minimise agricultural production losses caused by Navua sedge, but most of these methods are currently either ineffective or uneconomical when used alone. Other management approaches, including biological control and mycoherbicides, are currently being explored. We conclude that a better understanding of the interaction of its physiological processes, ecological patterns and genetic diversity across a range of conditions found in the invaded and native habitats will help to contribute to and provide more effective integrated management approaches for Navua sedge.
Keywords: Navua sedge; integrated weed management strategies; invasive alien species.