Stuck in a field of Parthenium
Researchers at Wits University have created the world’s first framework, to better guide the management of terrestrial invasive species.
Researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, have created the world’s first framework, to better guide the management of terrestrial invasive species.
By using a big data approach and combining information from the South African National Census of 2011, with the South African Plant Invaders Atlas, the researchers found a way to prioritise targets in the control of invasive species. This will ensure the greatest benefits for both the environment and rural communities.
“South Africa spends R1,5 billion per year on controlling invasive species and while the country is really at the forefront alien species control in the world, we still have a wicked problem,” says lead author, Dr Chevonne Reynolds, a lecturer at Wits University. “However, by using our new framework, we can now target invasive control activities by prioritising localities that are most impacted. Typically, these are the poorest municipalities in the country.”
Invasive species cost South Africa’s economy R6,5 billion in damage from fire, loss of viable land and drinking water. These weeds also threaten our biodiversity and ecosystem services. as
The main finding of the research, published in the journal Ecosystem Services, shows that poorer rural communities are the most heavily impacted by the negative effects of invasive weeds.
“We looked at the livelihoods of people on a national level, what their household income is and how they use natural resources to aid or supplement their daily living need, and then examined how this is affected by invasive species,” says Reynolds.
While invasive species have both positive and negative impacts on the environment and communities, the team weighed up these trade-offs for a variety of invasive species to find their overall impact on the livelihoods of all South Africans.
For instance, people use the fruit of the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) to supplement their diet and income. However, because it aggressively invades grassland it makes pastures unsuitable for livestock, while also competing for water and other resources. So, overall it has a negative impact on the affected community.
The team combined data on household incomes and their use of natural resource (provisioning ecosystem services) for all municipalities in South Africa, with the distribution data of 57 invasive weeds establish which communities are most affected.
“We found that poorer rural communities are the most impacted by invasive species, as these people make most use of natural resources on a day-to-day basis,” says Reynolds. “Their ability to make a living is severely restricted by the invasion of alien species in their environments.”
“What we have done is create a framework for government to direct efforts to eradicate invasive species more effectively, by targeting municipalities where both people and the environment are most at risk,” says Reynolds. “Our model can also be used and adapted for other countries with a similar problem, where the novel approach of combining big data with citizen science can provide answers to problems.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Terrestrial invasive species
- The Battle To Save The World’s Rarest Species From Extinction Following Mauritius Oil Spillon October 4, 2020 at 7:09 am
The incredible behind the scenes story of the dramatic efforts to save some of the world's rarest plants and animals from a major shipping oil spill that rocked the Indian Ocean island nation of ...
- Crickets were the first to chirp 300 million years agoon October 2, 2020 at 7:30 am
An international team, led by Dr. Sabrina Simon (Wageningen University & Research) and Dr. Hojun Song (Texas A&M), succeeded in tracing the evolution of acoustic communication in the insect family of ...
- Crickets were first to chirp 300 million years agoon October 2, 2020 at 2:18 am
An international team, led by Dr Sabrina Simon (Wageningen University & Research) and Dr Hojun Song (Texas A&M), succeeded in tracing the evolution ...
- USGS Science at The Wildlife Society 2020 Conferenceon September 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm
Check out presentations by USGS scientists and collaborators and come talk with scientists at discussion boards and live video chats! John Sauer and others: Biometrics for Complex Long-Term ...
- Ohia’s genetic diversity may contain key to disease resistanceon September 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Ohia is at home in nearly every terrestrial ecosystem in the islands ... relations and education specialist for the Maui Invasive Species Committee. She holds a biological sciences degree from ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Terrestrial invasive species
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Waterfowl hunters reminded to avoid spreading aquatic invasive specieson October 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm
With the Minnesota hunting season underway, it is important for waterfowl hunters to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Invasive species such as purple loosestrife, zebra mussels, Eu ...
- 70th Annual Statewide Weed and Invasive Species Conference Set for Nov. 3-6on October 6, 2020 at 9:59 am
Washington State Weed Conference will be offered online and free to the public, announced the Washington Vegetation Management Association and the Washington Invasive Species Council. With this ...
- Invasive species award seeks nomineeson October 3, 2020 at 10:02 am
Nominations are now being accepted to honor invasive species prevention efforts within Maui County. The Malama i ka Aina Award has been presented annually since 2003 to a landscaper, plant provider ...
- Mystery eels dumped in Prospect Park lake are part of invasive species that could harm native fishon October 3, 2020 at 8:20 am
No one has been able to track down the slippery suspect, and officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation say it’s impossible to scoops out all the eels.
- When Invasive Species Become the Mealon October 2, 2020 at 8:29 am
Is dining on nature’s predators an act of environmentalism — or just a new way for humans to bend the world to our will?