Assessing the invasiveness and potential for eradication for Australian Acacia species with very limited distribution in South Africa

Assessing the invasiveness and potential for eradication for Australian Acacia species with very limited distribution in South Africa
Nkoliso Magona1,2, David M. Richardson2, John R. Wilson1,2
1Invasive Species Programme, SANBI; 2Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University

Several Australian Acacia species have become widespread and abundant invaders, with significant negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and socio-economic life in South Africa. However, there are several species that are less widespread but which may have potential to expand their range into suitable but as yet unoccupied areas. Here we consider 11 species that have been recorded as present in South Africa.  For four of these, naturalised populations have been identified and efforts towards extirpation are under way (A. adunca, A. fimbriata, A. retinodes, and A. viscidula). For other species, individual plantings have been identified, but not cleared yet as there is no or little evidence of naturalization or invasion risk (e.g. A. cultriformis, A. pendula, A. ulicifolia).  Finally for other species it remains to be determined if they are still present in South Africa (A. binervata A. faciliformis, A. rubida, and A. schinoides).  The proposed study aims to review the status of all introduced Acacia species in South Africa and where desirable work towards their eradication.