Navigation Links
Scientists call for urgent research into 'real' impacts of invasive species
Date:1/17/2008

Invasive alien species are those that occur outside their natural range and threaten the existence of native plants and animals. They can be plants, animals or microorganisms that are introduced intentionally for economic or agricultural purposes, or accidentally, through tourism, travel or trade, or when domestic animals become feral.

As well as drawing attention to the rising cost of invasive species on a global scale estimated at US$1.4 trillion in damage GISP stresses that too much emphasis has been placed on the problems faced by the agricultural sector in developed countries rather than in developing countries and on the full range of environmental, social and economic costs. The report also emphasises that due to the lack of knowledge and research available on the severity of individual pests and the options for best controlling them, policy makers are being left in the dark.

Dennis Rangi, Chair of GISP says:

With the increase in global trade, invasive species are gaining more and more prominence around the world. However the level of awareness amongst decision-makers, and in particular those in developing countries is still relatively low.

He goes on to say that to enable informed policy making on the prevention, eradication and control of invasive species, it is critical that studies are expanded to show the extent of the problem and in particular the impact that these weeds, pests and diseases have on peoples lives. He says numbers are not enough; decision makers need to know the tangible effects invasive species are having on the individual farmers and their crops.

To help address the issues, GISP and one of its lead organisations, CABI, has undertaken a number of case studies of problem invasive species in Africa a country with a current lack of analysis. As well as highlighting the overall economic damage to the affected countries, the studies show the estimated monetary loss to farmers, the cost of prevention and control and the potential consequences if action is not taken.

CABI is world-renowned for its extensive work in working with countries to help prevent and control invasive species. As well as advising on how to control invasive weeds and pests using a complementary array of pest management approaches, CABI specialises in natural control methods. This focuses on finding and developing natural enemies from the species country of origin and introducing them to the environment where it has invaded. One example is the Rastrococcus mealybug which devastated mangoes in West Africa. CABI introduced a highly specific wasp from Asia, which proved extremely effective in controlling the mealybug. Natural control methods for other weed species such as Mikania micrantha and Water Hyacinth have also been successfully used.

Among GISPs case studies is the Triffid weed (Chromolaena odorata), a plant native to the Americas which has severely impacted natural areas in Africa and reduces crop productivity in agriculture and grazing. In Ghana the study showed that the weed occupies 59% of all arable lands, and in Ubombo, South Africa it reduces the grazing capacity of animals by 150%. Effective control would see an increase in production by 34% and a gain of US$25.6 per hectare for each farmer.

Another example is the Larger Grain Borer which has been recorded in over 18 African countries. The Borer is a major pest of staple food in Africa, especially farm-stored maize and cassava. By studying the Borer, GISP reported that its impact is greatest in rural, small-holder farming systems where yield losses range from 23-60%.

Sarah Simons, Global Director of Invasives Species at CABI concludes:

By concentrating on a number of specific problem weeds in Africa, we are able to identify the effects they have on a countrys overall economy and also on the farmers and their families. This sort of information is essential if governments are to understand the extent of the problem and develop effective strategies to tackle them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynsey Sterrey
l.sterrey@cabi.org
44-014-918-29361
CABI
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... JERUSALEM , March 15, 2016 ... Jerusalem , the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, ... developer of remote sensing technology of various human biological ... funding, raising $2.0 million from private investors. ... technology, based on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... -- --> --> ... Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, Password ... Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region - ... is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion in ... Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during the ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... N.C. , March 8, 2016   ... sensor technology, today announced it has secured $11M ... by GII Tech, a new venture fund being ... with additional participation from existing investors TDF Ventures ... the funds to continue its triple-digit growth and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), a leading animal ... the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ownership and additional ... appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been appointed CEO/President and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number ... be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a ... clinically relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The organization ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had ... she tore her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the ... central Florida board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: