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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Climatic suitability of South Africa for giant reed, Arundo donax (Poaceae) and a candidate biological control agent, the rhizome- and stem-feeding scale insect, Rhizaspidiotus donacis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)

Climatic suitability of South Africa for giant reed, Arundo donax (Poaceae) and a candidate biological control agent, the rhizome- and stem-feeding scale insect, Rhizaspidiotus donacis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae)
Sasha-Ann PILLAY1, Angela Bownes1, 2, Terence Olckers1
1School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
2Agricultural Research Council-Plant Protection Institute (ARC-PPRI), Private Bag X6006, Hilton 3245, South Africa

Arundo donax (L.) (Poaceae) is a widespread and highly invasive reed in South Africa. Following progress in the USA, the scale insect, Rhizaspidiotus donacis Leonardi (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) is being considered as a candidate biological control agent in South Africa. An important component of pre-release evaluations in weed biological control programmes is to evaluate the climatic niches of candidate agents and the target weed to identify areas that are climatically suitable for their persistence in areas of introduction. This study aims to determine whether A. donax has reached its optimum invasion distribution in South Africa and whether South Africa is climatically suitable to support R. donacis populations. The climate-modelling programme CLIMEX was used to model climatic similarities between native range locations of R. donacis and South Africa, and the climatic suitability of South Africa for R. donacis and A. donax, using model parameters based on both native and introduced range (i.e. USA) distribution data. The results indicated that most regions of South Africa are climatically suitable for R. donacis establishment or are climatically similar to locations in the USA where the scale insect has established following deliberate release. Predictions from the combined use of native and introduced range parameters indicate that A. donax is likely to have reached its fundamental distribution range in South Africa. Furthermore, the improved model predictions obtained through the use of both sets of parameters, demonstrate the potentially limited predictive value of using native range parameters alone when modelling distributions of invasive alien plants.

Read 3061 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 12:21

General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


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Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more