Alien species are the main cause of recent global extinctions

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The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina roseais just one alien species which has led to species extinctions – initially introduced to Hawaii as a way of controlling African land snails, the species predated on the island’ s endemic snails and is thought to be directly responsible for the extinctions of 134 of these species. © Scot Nelson

Whilst many introduced alien species have little effect on the ecosystems in which they exist, others can have devastating impacts on biodiversity, causing extinctions at local and global scales. However, some scientists argue that the impact of alien species has been exaggerated, and suggest that native species are just as likely to cause extinctions. Researchers from University College London set out to determine if this was the case. Continue reading

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 shares expertise on rubber tree blight in major new Amazon documentary series

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‘Without rubber, the economy as we know it ceases to exist’

CABI is today sharing its expertise on the devastating rubber tree blight disease – that could severely impact upon the world’s rubber production for essential items including tyres, shoes and the seals on a multitude of household and industrial items– as part of a major new Amazon documentary series now streaming.

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Dangerous waterweed spreading in Southern Africa

By Baraka Rateng’. Reblogged from SciDev.Net.

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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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CABI shares expertise at workshop concerned with threat of invasive species to Gibraltar

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Dr Pablo González-Moreno, one of CABI’s senior researchers with expertise in invasive plant ecology, has joined a workshop of international scientists concerned with investigating the invasive non-native species that pose the greatest threat to Gibraltar’s terrestrial and marine environments.

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Biological control against invasive agricultural pest slows deforestation across Southeast Asia

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Used as an effective method of controlling invasive species, biological control (or biocontrol) is the term given to the use of living organisms for controlling pests and invasive species. It can provide an effective, environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient way of controlling pest populations, helping to restore crop yields and farmer’s profits. However a recent study, focussing on invasive cassava mealybugs, has shown that biocontrol can also have some surprising knock-on effects.

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Zygogramma bicolorata released at selected sites in Pakistan as biological control of parthenium

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Parthenium hysterophorus is a highly destructive weed which has invaded and is widespread in around 48 countries in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. In Pakistan the weed is spreading rapidly westwards and southwards across both rural and urban landscapes, affecting native ecology and harming agriculture.

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