River red gum in South Africa – towards a national management strategy
Invasion by river red gum along the Berg River (Hermon area, Western Cape). Photo credit: Graham Harding

River red gum in South Africa – towards a national management strategy

In a recent review published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, a diverse team of researchers led by C·I·B postdoctoral fellow Heidi Hirsch compiled comprehensive information on the past and current status of river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh.) in South Africa.

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Prioritising pathways, alien species, and sites for contingency planning
Climatic models developed using the Maxent modelling algorithm to assess the likelihood of species establishing in Durban (a: alligator weed; b: southern sandbur; c: American bullfrog; and d: red imported fire ant). The climatic models produced were overlaid with data on potential points of first introduction (pet and aquarium shops; plant nurseries and garden centres; and the Durban Harbour) to identify potential sites of first naturalisation for the species identified in this study. (Graphic: Padayachee et al. 2019)

Prioritising pathways, alien species, and sites for contingency planning

New species are introduced to environments outside their native ranges, sometimes causing negative ecological and socio-economic impacts. Identifying which species are potentially problematic is important in planning strategic responses for preventing introductions and mitigating impacts in vulnerable environments such as cities.

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Guava invasion facilitates changes in some soil properties
Guava (Psidium guajava L.) an invasive alien tree species that is widely distributed in South Africa, where it negatively impacts soil physico-chemical properties. (Photo credit: Sheunesu Ruwanza)

Guava invasion facilitates changes in some soil properties

Guava (Psidium guajava L.) is a commercially grown small tree, which also invades pastures and abandoned fields in South Africa. The tree acts as a pioneer species in recovering degraded landscapes thus making ecological restoration a challenge.

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The silent and hidden movement of latent pathogens around the world
The distribution of ten Botryosphaeriaceae species of this study in Hawaii and La Réunion Islands and across the world. *These two species exist all over the world (Figure from Jami et al.).

The silent and hidden movement of latent pathogens around the world

A recent study by Fahimeh Jami, together with C·I·B researchers Jaco Le Roux and Dave Richardson, had a closer look at the geographical and host range of Botryosphaeriaceae, a family of fungi that are common pathogens on woody plants. The study, published in the journal, Fungal Biology, provided the first Botryosphaeriaceae records for both the locations and hosts studied.

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Where did the invasive Guttural Toads come from?

Guttural toads (Sclerophrys gutturalis) have been invasive in Mauritius and Reunion for nearly 100 years (since ~1922), and have been in Constantia (near Cape Town) for another 20 years, but where did those colonising toads come from?

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