Alien pest of wheat and maize could pose a threat to South Africa

Alien pests of agriculture cause billions of Rands’ worth of damage to South African crops every year. Knowledge on which pests could pose a threat in the future is vital to inform South Africa’s biosecurity.

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Taxonomy and introduction histories of non-native Prosopis populations for their effective management
Members of the research team during a fieldwork expedition in Ethiopia. From the left is Prof. Brian van Wilgen (C·I·B Core Team Member), Prof. Jaco Le Roux (C·I·B Research Associate) and Dr. María Loreto Castillo (C·I·B PhD graduate). (Photo provided by Prof. Brian van Wilgen)

Taxonomy and introduction histories of non-native Prosopis populations for their effective management

Trees in the genus Prosopis (known as mesquite) have been widely planted outside of their native ranges in many countries, and many species are now among the world’s worst woody invasives. The genus contains 44 species from the Americas, South West Asia and North Africa, and several have become major problems in South and East Africa.

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The Table Mountain fire: what we can learn from the main drivers of wildfires

The fires that started on 18 April 2021 on the slopes of Table Mountain in South Africa destroyed several buildings on the campus of the University of Cape Town. These included the Jagger Library, as well as the restaurant at Rhodes Memorial, the historic Mostert’s Mill, and several residential houses. This was a tragic event that will affect many people for a long time.

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Unseen arrivals: what is South Africa unknowingly importing?
Biosecurity inspections in South Africa as part of international agricultural trade. Clockwise from top left: microscopic inspections of fruit at Stellenbosch DALRRD laboratories; pre-export inspection of citrus at exporter’s premises; inspection of cut flowers at OR Tambo airport; inspection of bonsai plants at Stellenbosch DALRRD laboratories. Figure reproduced from Davina Saccaggi’s PhD dissertation at Stellenbosch University. Photos by DALRRD.

Unseen arrivals: what is South Africa unknowingly importing?

Global agricultural trade is the single biggest pathway of introduction of alien invertebrates and microorganisms. Each imported grain, fruit, vegetable, plant or flower may be carrying a host of unseen and unwanted passengers – including insects, mites, fungi or viruses.

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