The Impacts Of Invasive Alien Plants Environmental Sciences Essay

Chapter 1

Research on the impacts of invasive foreigner workss ( IAP ) on biodiversity, ecosystem services and procedures have been good documented in the literature. Furthermore, the primary focal point of this research was the negative impacts associated with IAPs when there are some benefits associated with these workss. Limited research has besides addressed the issue of IAP impact on the supports and wellbeing of local land-users. Sing that limited resources are available to turn to the issue of IAP at big, quantification of stakeholder perceptual experience is needed to maximize IAP direction.

Through this thesis, an probe into the spread and impacts of IAPs in the rural parts of the Agulhas Plain every bit good as the perceptual experiences, utilizations, costs and benefits associated with IAPs and the importance of these workss to the supports of the local communities was carried out. The intent of this research is to supply a better apprehension of the possible impacts of invasive works species on the supports of people. This local cognition can help research workers by supplying context specific information about impacts, which can so be used for future preservation actions.


The damaging effects of IAPs on ecosystems and biodiversity, ecosystem goods and services the economic system of human endeavors and human wellness have been good documented in the literature ( e.g. Ging et Al. 2004, Nel et Al. 2004, Shackleton et al. 2007 ) . Invasion by foreign species have been reported as a major menace to the biodiversity and operation of sensitive ecosystems ( Turpie et al. 2003, Richardson and Van Wilgen 2004, Van Wilgen et Al. 2008 ) . It has been shown that invasive species are really successful in viing for resources with native species and can modify fuel tonss by altering the sum of litter autumn ( Behenna et al. 2008 ) . Invasive foreigner workss are besides capable of changing the natural food fluxs by switching the N content due to alterations in the litter autumn ( Behenna et al. 2008 ) . Dense stands of acacias along the rivers in the Western Cape replace and except native fynbos species ( Blanchard and Holmes 2008 ) . Invasive foreigner workss besides pose one of the greatest immediate menaces to flowered diverseness in the fynbos and have the ability gaining control huge sums of H2O ( Turpie et al. 2003 ) . In contrast, research researching the effects of IAPs on the supports of local, rural communities has received small attending ( McGarry et al. 2005, Shackleton et al. 2007 ) .

Not all of the impacts exerted by IAPs are negative as these works species is a beginning of both costs and benefits ( Bardsley and Edward-Jones 2006 ) . Assorted workss have been introduced to South Africa for a assortment of intents ( Van Wilgen et Al. 2001 ) . These include species intrudes for harvest production, lumber and firewood, garden ornamentals, for dune stabilization and hedge workss ( Van Wilgen et Al. 2001 ) . Several of these have become established and some of the established species are now invasive ( Van Wilgen et Al. 2001 ) . Costss are experienced when these invasive species impede the operation of societal and ecological systems ( Bardsley and Edward-Jones 2006 ) . Benefits, on the other manus, are experienced when the same traits ( such as robustness and high fruitfulness ) that lead to these species going invasives, contribute to their utility ( Bardsley and Edward-Jones 2006 ) .

Rural communities are exposed to IAPs in different ways ( Shackleton et al. 2007 ) . The result is that that these communities have to weigh up the tradeoffs between the possible positive benefits of IAPs as a natural resource and the negative impacts exercised by these species on ecosystem goods and services and in bend on human support ( Shackleton et al. 2007 ) . It is by and large accepted that the negative effects of IAPs on ecosystem goods and services are transferred straight to human wellbeing ( Shackleton et al. 2007 ) . This has been proven otherwise by research workers such as de Neergaard and others ( 2005 ) , Shackleton and others ( 2007 ) and Kull and others ( 2011 ) who illustrated that IAPs can be integrated significantly by local communities in their life styles as either a beginning of tannic acids and lumber, for firewood, constructing stuff, every bit good as for medicative extractions and fiscal income by selling of firewood.

Working for Water ( WfW ) , an IAP obliteration programme, was launced in 1995 with the purpose of reconstructing natural capital by commanding occupying species and enhance H2O security ( Van Wilgen et Al. 1998 ) . Simultaneously, the programme aims to relieve poorness by supplying employment to underprivileged communities ( Van Wilgen et Al. 1998 ) . To day of the month, the WfW programme has developed into one of the biggest preservation undertakings in Africa with respect to manpower, costs and impact ( Ndhlovu 2011 ) . Immense sponsorships have contributed towards extended countries being cleared and a big Numberss of persons being employed ( Binns et al. 2001, Turpie et Al. 2008 ) . Conversely, the socio-economic benefits of the WfW programme have non been entirely assessed regardless of the programmes extended activities and significant sponsorships associated with it ( Turpie et al. 2008 ) .

Additionally, the usage of these workss by rural communities is non good understood and rarely integrated into obliteration programmes as stated below:

The deficiency of information on the socio-economic impacts of IAS has been singled out as a major barrier to the execution of comprehensive national IAS direction programmes and as one of the chief grounds for the failure of IAS issues to have conspicuously in the mainstream docket of most states ( Peter, 2009 ) .

Quantification of stakeholder perceptual experience on the impacts of IAPs is indispensable in order authorize an statement for the control and direction of invasive works species ( Peter, 2009 ) . Though it is critical to understand anthropogenetic impacts on landscapes and ecosystems through ecological cognition of invasive species, an improved apprehension of the societal procedures is besides required to inform both species direction and preservation policy ( Peter 2009 ) .

There is a deficit of information sing the socio-economic impact of foreign species soon found in South Africa. Even in good studied countries such as the Cape Floristic Region, the scope of the impact of invasive workss is ill understood. Additionally, limited research has besides been done with respect to the socio-economic impacts of foreign obliteration programmes in the Western Cape. Consequently, there is a demand for comprehensive research that investigates the holistic impacts ( both negative and positive ) of IAPs on the supports and wellbeing of local communities.

Goals and Aims

Sing the above, the aim of this survey was to measure the effects and impacts of IAP infestation on human wellbeing, with the focal point on the effects of IAPs on the supports of rural land users in the Western Cape, South Africa. The chief research inquiry that directs the survey is as follow: What are the impacts of invasive foreigner workss on the supports of rural land users? This research inquiry was broken down into seven cardinal inquiries. These cardinal inquiries were adapted from the literature ( see McGarry et Al. 2005 ) .

Cardinal Questions

What is the significance of the natural environment to the community?

What are people ‘s attitudes towards and perceptual experiences of IAPs?

How of import are IAPs for human wellbeing and supports?

Are the IAPs used for nutriment, for domestic demands, etc. ?

Are IAPs sold to supply an income?

Does the local community perceive IAPs as holding a positive or negative impact on spiritualty, civilization and/or aesthetics?

How make IAPs in the country affect the supply of ( other ) ecosystem goods and services which are of import to people ‘s supports?

What are people ‘s attitudes towards IAP direction?

What are the impacts of IAP obliteration programmes on supports?

What is the impact of IAP distribution on land-use patterns?

What are the long-run and short-run additions and losingss for human wellbeing and support as a consequence of IAP impact?

The survey site is extremely dependent on countries where rural communities are still extremely reliant on bring forthing an income from the land. Additionally, the survey site must besides follow with the usage of IAPs by the local community and in the same light IAPs must be potentially regarded as a job by the local community.

The Agulhas Plain, situated within the Cape Floristic Region ( CFR ) , has been selected as the focal point country for this survey as it meets the above mentioned standards.

Study country

The Agulhas Plain ( AP ) is located within the CFR which is internationally known as a planetary biodiversity hot spot ( Turpie et al. 2003 ) . The CFR, known for its Mediterranean type clime, is the most floristically rich of the seven diverse biomes allocated in South Africa with an estimated 9600 works species of which 70 % are endemic ( Richardson and Sekhran 2009 ) . The AP, consisting an country of 270A 000 hour angle, is located at the southern-most tip of South Africa and is a species-rich country known for its fire-prone coastal lowland fynbos and infertile dirts ( Richardson and Sekhran 2009, Treurnicht 2010 ) . It is internationally recognised as a “ Centre for indigenousness ” ( Treurnicht 2010 ) .

This country is nevertheless progressively threatened by habitat transmutation and foreigner works invasion ( Turpie et al. 2003 ) , the latter being the focal point of this survey. Fynbos wild flower agriculture and harvest home, peculiarly from natural flora, forms an built-in portion of this country ‘s economic activity and contributes vastly to this part ‘s agricultural sector ( Treurnicht 2010 ) . This has been shown Turpie and others ( 2003 ) who stated that natural fynbos flora are estimated to be accountable for 57.6 % of the CFR ‘s turnover, which were equal to R90.5 million in the twelvemonth 2000. The Agulhas Plain is practically responsible for the largest portion of this turnover ( Turpie et al. 2003 ) .

Study restrictions

It was non possible to make a systematic and thorough research in all the countries on the Agulhas Plain were IAP infestation occurs due to the clip restriction of this survey. It was therefore decided to make a elaborate and comprehensive micro focal point i.e. instance survey on the socio-economic impacts of invasive foreigner workss and to garner every bit much consistent information as possible by agencies of interviews. Elim and the environing agrarian communities were consequently selected as the survey group.

Study site choice

Elim and the environing agrarian communities were chosen as the best suited survey site harmonizing to the undermentioned grounds:

It was established during the visits prior and during the pilot survey that this rural colony and its neighbouring farms still relies on woody IAPs as either a primary or a auxiliary beginning of energy.

It was noted during field visits that the countries surround the colony every bit good as the neighbouring farms are invaded to a significant grade.

There has been active foreign obliteration programmes in the country since 1998 i.e. Working for Water every bit good as LandCare under the sections of Water Affairs and Agriculture severally.

Thesis lineation

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Literature Reappraisal

Chapter 3 – Methods, Results and Discussion

Chapter 4 – Deductions for direction and policies