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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

The value of soil enrichment media generated from invasive alien plant biowaste

The value of soil enrichment media generated from invasive alien plant biowaste
Yusuf Adam, Syd Ramdhani, Sershen Naidoo
University of KwaZulu Natal

Globally,  numerous  organisations  are  actively  involved  in  controlling  many  invasive  alien  plant species that threaten biodiversity. The plant biowaste generated by removal of these species is generally disposed of, even though it represents a potential resource for soil enrichment through composting. This study investigated the value of soil enrichment media generated from biowaste of four invasive species in South Africa (Acacia podalyriifolia, Hedychium gardnerianum, Litsea glutinosoa and Tithonia diversifolia). These species were harvested and then tested for allelopathic effects: leachates produced from biomass of all four taxa had no marked effects on Zea mays (maize) and Pisum sativum (pea) seed germination. Soil enrichment media was then produced by composting these species in four combinations (one woody with one herbaceous species); a commercial compost was also assessed for comparative purposes. The primary nutrient content of these media was determined prior to their use in plant growth studies involving Z. mays and P.sativum. All experimental media exhibited similar or higher potassium content than the commercial type but lower phosphorus, and except for one combination, lower nitrogen levels. Growth of both crop species on three of the experimental media was comparable with the commercial type. However, the effect of the various biowaste media on growth differed between maize and pea, with maize showing an overall better response. The results suggest that biowaste of selected invasive alien plant species can be used as a substitute for commercial soil enrichment media when growing crops like maize and pea, with little to no decline in yield.

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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


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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