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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

Assessing invasive alien plant impacts on ecosystem services in the City of Cape Town

Assessing invasive alien plant impacts on ecosystem services in the City of Cape Town
Claire A. Giovanelli, Mirijam Gaertner1, Patrick O’Farrell2, Karen Esler1,3
1Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University; 2CSIR, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group; 3 Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University

South Africa is following the global trend of urbanisation. This increases the need for planning and service provision within ever expanding cities. Ecosystems play a large role  in the provision of services for human health and wellbeing. Ecosystem services include supporting functions (e.g. nutrient cycling and pollination to maintain biodiversity) which form the basis of all other services such as provisioning (e.g. water regulation and waste assimilation), regulating (e.g. control of climate and disease control) and cultural (e.g. spiritual and recreation). One of the largest direct drivers of ecosystem degradation and change is caused by invasive alien plants (IAP) which alter ecosystem functions, transform habitats and decrease biodiversity. Often these changes have a negative impact on ecosystem services. The impact of IAP in the provision of ecosystem services in the urban environment has received little attention especially in developing countries.

The aim of this study is to determine the impacts of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in the City of Cape Town and investigate the associated socio-economic impacts. In this study we identify key ecosystem services in Cape Town, categorise IAPs according to the fynbos vegetation types found within the city and determine the human beneficiaries of ecosystem services. A framework is generated using current literature and databases. This study will be of interest to IAP managers in urban environments.

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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


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

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