Indian farmers using smartphones to fight fast-moving crop killer

By Eric Marx. Reblogged from Ethical Corporation.

Plantix is a diagnostic app that uses image recognition software and AI. It is being used to halt the advance of the fall armyworm pest.

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An app that uses artificial intelligence to identify plant disease is being deployed in India as an early-warning system to stop the advance of a crop-destroying caterpillar that is having a devastating impact on maize crops in Africa.

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Largest Invasive Alien Plant dataset is now published online!

By Samantha Garvin. Reblogged from JRS Biodiversity Foundation.

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Lantana Camara is an invasive species in East and Southern Africa

CABI has published one of the most complete and current datasets on Invasive Alien Plants (IAP) in East and Southern Africa. This extraordinary dataset is already being translated into new research findings and conservation action on the ground.

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Tackle invasive species to restore degraded landscapes

By Gilbert Nakweya
Reblogged from SciDev.Net

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Prosopis and Lantana, two invasive woody shrubs that have been encroaching on Kenyan grazing and agricultural lands. Copyright: Panos

Invasive alien species should not be used in restoring degraded landscapes as their costs outweigh their benefits, experts say.

Invasive alien species, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity, are plants, animals and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and may adversely affect human health and the environment, including decline or elimination of native species.

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Invasive alien plants, land degradation and restoration

Reblogged from Global Landscapes Forum

Invasive alien plants contribute to land degradation by forming vast unproductive monocultures. These invasions have a negative impact on biodiversity, water resources, crop and pasture production, human and animal health, and as such undermine Africa’s ability to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. Landscapes degraded as a result of unsustainable land-use practices are also more likely to be invaded by invasive plant species, making any attempts at restoration considerably more difficult. As such it is imperative that invasive species management forms an integral part of any attempt at landscape restoration. By actively removing invasive species, followed by restoration, livelihood outcomes will be enhanced across the continent.

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Invasive Species Are Riding on Plastic Across the Oceans

Reblogged from National Geographic

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Pelagic gooseneck barnacles hang like ropes off a plastic basin that washed onto the beaches of San Francisco in 2014. The basin was one of many pieces of debris that crossed the Pacific after the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Photograph by Gail Ashton and Katherine Newcomer, Smithsonian

We know plastics are as plentiful in parts of the open ocean as they are in our everyday lives. But, until recently, scientists didn’t consider that such debris could also be carrying a new wave of invasive species to the shores of the United States. Now they’re finding that not only is that happening, but they suspect that some of the species will thrive.

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Reblogged from AGRF

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From left: Dr Dennis Rangi (CABI), Dr May-Guri Saethre (IITA), Dr Denis Kyetere (AATF), Dr Rob Bertram (USAID)

Last year, the Fall armyworm destroyed swathes of agricultural production across Africa, devastating maize crops in more than 40 countries and placing at risk the food security and livelihoods of some 300 million people.

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