Status of invasion on sub-Antarctic Marion and Prince Edward Islands

Status of invasion on sub-Antarctic Marion and Prince Edward Islands
Michelle GREVE, Rabia Mathakutha, Christien Steyn1
1Department of Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa.

The sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands (PEIs), South Africa’s southern-most territories, are of high conservation value as they are one of the few unique systems of their nature that are in existence globally. Despite their isolation and the strict management policies against the introduction of alien species to sub-Antarctic islands in general, and more specifically to the PEIs, several invasive plants have established on the PEIs and the introduction of propagules continue. Here we review the history and agents of alien species on the PEIs and explore their impacts on the region. This review will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the status of biological invasions in the PEIs. This will include lists of species, descriptions of how their distribution status has changed over time, the trends in, and the scale of the impact of invasion, the extent of invasion across the islands, pathways of invasion and eradication efforts. In addition, gaps in our knowledge of the identity and effects of alien species on the PEIs will be discussed. Finally, this paper will provide information on the management approaches in place on the PEIs, how they have changed over time, and their effectiveness.