Modelling and managing alien species in the sub-Antarctic

Peter C le Roux-University of Pretoria, Department of Plant Science
Sub-Antarctic islands provide valuable natural laboratories for the study of invasion biology in relatively simple ecosystems due to their low indigenous species richness and limited anthropogenic transformation.

Reducing the rate of new species and managing established aliens is a conservation priority in the region due to the serious ecological impacts of some invasive species on these islands.

This presentation highlights three key research projects conducted on sub-Antartic Marion Island, considering the lessons learnt for the management of alien species elsewhere.

(1)The successful eradication of feral cats, a species which heavily impacted on the island’s seabird population with knock-on effects on vegetation patterns.

(11) The island wide surveying and modelling of alien vascular plant species distributions, which revealed species specific drivers of distribution patterns and the potential consequences of current warming trends.

(111)The quantification of pressure associated with a national scientific research programme, and the implications thereof for the programme’s logistics.

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