n African Entomology - A context for the 2011 compilation of reviews on the biological control of invasive alien plants in South Africa




Besides this introduction, which gives a historical and contextual perspective, this compilation of reviews in volume 19(2), comprises 28 papers, 24 of which provide accounts of recent (i.e. emphasising the period from 1999-2010) South African biological control projects against individual invasive alien plant species, or against taxonomically- or functionally-related groups of species. Three of the papers deal with issues related to research and implementation of biological control, namely: regulations and risk assessment; mapping; and cost:benefit analyses. The concluding paper is a complete catalogue, with summary statistics and key references, of all the target weeds and of the insect,mite and pathogen species (and subsidiary taxa) that have been implicated in biological control efforts against invasive alien plants in South Africa since 1913. This compilation is the third in a series of accounts of all the biological control programmes against invasive alienplants that have been undertaken in South Africa: the first, produced in 1991, reviewed progress to that date and the next, published in 1999, was a review of progress from 1990-1998. A comparison of the contents of these three review volumes is given in tabular form. The 2011 compilation contains reports on 13 novel programmes, in the sense that they have not been previously reviewed. Eight of these projects have focused on incipient weeds, or on rapidly-emerging weed species or groups of species, that have only recently been targeted for biological control. The increased scope and commitment to weed biological control research in South Africa has been largely the consequence of the sustained support provided by the Programme of the South African Department of Water Affairs, over the last 15 years.


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