Alien Invasive plant threats to wetlands and riparian areas in the Southern and Eastern Cape

Alien Invasive plant threats to wetlands and riparian areas in the Southern and Eastern Cape
Japie Buckle
Provincial Coordinator: Eastern Cape, Working for Wetlands
South African National Biodiversity Institute
31 Newcombe Ave., Miramar, PE, 6070
E-mail:

Wetlands in the Southern and Eastern Cape are mostly associated with high energy rivers systems that  drain  the  steep  catchments  in  the  area.  Unsustainable  land  management practices  (over burning and over grazing) in these areas often resulted in many degraded catchments and highly impacted and disturbed riparian areas and wetlands which promote the infestation of IAP.

Several well established and emerging weed species are further contributing to the degradation of riparian areas and wetlands. The following invasive plant species will be illustrated and highlighted as major or potentially problematic species which might be considered for biological control in future:

Arundo donax - Giant reed in various river systems in the South-eastern Cape

Rubus spp – Bramble in the North-eastern Cape and TMS rivers

Cortaderia selloana - Pampas grass in the Tsitsikamma area and Langkloof

Acacia spp. - Black and Silver Wattle

Lantana camara - in the Wild Coast but spreading to the south-western part of the Eastern Cape

Salix fragilis – Crack Willow in the North Eastern Cape