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.
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.
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.
Warmer temperatures increase the metabolism and reproductive rates of the pest
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.
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.
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.