Invasive weed could cut crop yields by 30 per cent

By Nicholas Okeya. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

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Field Dodder Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0 

A dangerous invasive alien weed known as field dodder could be a serious menace to agriculture and biodiversity across Sub-Saharan Africa, and reduce crop yields, scientists say.

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CABI-led study recommends improvements to how impacts of Non-Native Species are assessed

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A farmer sets a pheromone trap to fight tomato leaf miner

CABI has led an international team of Non-Native Species (NNS) specialists who have compiled a list of recommendations to improve the way in which the impact of a range of invasive pests – such as the tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta – are assessed, potentially helping towards ensuring greater global food security.

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Asia on alert as highly destructive fall armyworm spreads

By Trudy Harris. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

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Farmers and authorities throughout Asia need to be vigilant against fall armyworm invasions, after confirmation that the fast-moving pest has spread from India to China and now to South-East Asia, agricultural experts say.
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St Kitts-Nevis launches project to minimize harmful effects of invasive alien species

Originally published on WIC News

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A project aimed at managing the risks and costs of invasive alien species on important ecosystems, species and genetic diversity was launched in St. Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday, at the Ocean Terrace Inn Conference Room.

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Fall Armyworm attack: ‘Eastern India more vulnerable to infestation’

Originally published on DownToEarth

Warmer temperatures increase the metabolism and reproductive rates of the pest

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Fall Armyworm was first reported in July 2018 in Karnataka. Ever since, it has spread to its neighbouring states. Reports are now coming from West Bengal and Bihar as well. The initial damages are widespread as the pest is a voracious feeder. But we have reacted quickly. The Karnataka government, for example, has issued ad hoc recommendations for emergency response against it.

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CABI helps map ferocious speed and likely cause of woody weed spread across Ethiopia

Prosopis on river
Riverbank invasion of Prosopsis

CABI scientists have helped map the ferocious speed and probable cause of a devastating spread of the invasive alien tree Prosopis juliflora (Swartz DC) across an area equivalent to half of neighbouring Djibouti in the Afar Region of north eastern Ethiopia.

Dr Urs Schaffner, who is supervising lead author Hailu Shiferaw for his PhD studies, contributed to the Scientific Reports published paper ‘Modelling the current fractional cover of an invasive alien plant and drivers of its invasion in a dryland ecosystem’, which shows that the Prosopis invaded 1.2 million ha of grassland/shrubland in just 35 years.

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Dangerous waterweed spreading in Southern Africa

By Baraka Rateng’. Reblogged from SciDev.Net.

Limnobium laevigatum
Top view of Limnobium laevigatum Copyright: Wikimedia Commons

A dangerous waterweed is spreading across water bodies in Southern Africa and could soon strangle life-supporting services such as fishing if it is not controlled, a scientist says.

The waterweed called Limnobium laevigatum or South American sponge plant floats on water bodies and has the potential to invade other plants and decrease biodiversity, according to experts.

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