Bridging the knowledge-doing gap in invasion biology- prioritisation for research and management action

Bridging the knowledge-doing gap in invasion biology- prioritisation for research and management action
Mirijam Gaertner1 & Louise Stafford2
1Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
2Environmental Resource Management, Westlake Conservation Office, Ou Kaapse Weg, Postnet Suite 80 Private Bag X26, Tokai, 7966, South Africa

A new collaboration has been established between the City of Cape Town and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB). The main aims of the collaboration are to identify research needs and prioritise research actions in relation to the management of invasive alien species in the Cape Town metropole and to effectively translate research findings into management action for input into policy.

The main research areas covered will be the links between ecosystem services and alien species invasions, invaded habitats as novel ecosystems and implications for management and restoration, and the interface between biological invasions and human attitudes to the environment and change.

The first project undertaken is a restoration study at Blaauwberg Nature Reserve including two MSc studies, one on fynbos seed ecology and germination and the other one on restoration after alien clearing. Other priority areas for the first year will be to identify priority species for the early detection and rapid response program and provide a management plan for eradication and to select established, invasive species as priority for management.

An overall objective is to develop a strategic plan for the management of key invasive species in the City of Cape Town.