Botanical gardens and biosecurity
Eight biosecurity hazards presented by botanical gardens and the opportunities they provide to improve management and communication. Materials going into the gardens such as seeds, tubers, cuttings, mulch, compost and soil could potentially transport and introduce pests to the gardens (a, d). On the other hand, materials leaving the gardens such as sold plants, prunings and dead plants can potentially transport pests established in the gardens to the external environment (b, h). Other activities of the gardens, including visits by local and international visitors (f), the use of machinery and equipment (e), and plant exchange between botanical gardens (c) may also serve as pathways of movement of pests to- and from the gardens. Additionally, pests may naturally disperse between managed estates of the gardens and the adjacent natural vegetation (g). (Graphic from Wondafrash et al. 2021)

Botanical gardens and biosecurity

A recent paper, led by Dr Mesfin Gossa and published in Biodiversity and Conservation, reviews the value as well as the hazards associated with botanical gardens for biosecurity at a global scale.

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Addressing uncertainty in impact assessments for alien species
Participants at the workshop held in Melbourne, Australia in 2018. (Picture supplied by Melodie McGeoch)

Addressing uncertainty in impact assessments for alien species

Impact classification schemes for alien taxa are becoming more prominent as the threats posed by biological invasions increase. A recent study found that despite a high variety of uncertainties occurring in impact assessments, some of which cannot be eliminated easily, communicating their existence, cause and variety can lead to more useful and reliable outcomes of impact assessments.

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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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Bumper journal special issue on “Frameworks used in Invasion Science” from C·I·B workshop

In November 2019, the Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) hosted an international workshop on “Frameworks used in Invasion Science”. Deliberations at the workshop and afterwards led to a bumper special issue of the journal NeoBiota which comprises 24 papers.

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New monitoring and reporting framework aims to reduce the impacts of invasive alien species in World Heritage Sites
The Kogelberg Nature Reserve in the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site (photo credit Ross Shackleton)

New monitoring and reporting framework aims to reduce the impacts of invasive alien species in World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites contain cultural and natural heritage of outstanding value to humanity. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed 1,121 sites worldwide, of which nine are in South Africa—including four natural sites: the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas; the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park; Vredefort Dome; and Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land.

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