oa Alternation - Invasive alien plant species in South Africa: impacts and management options

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Invasive Alien Plant (lAP) species (commonly referred to as weeds) have emerged as a persistent problem in South Africa. They have dramatic impacts on the natural environment and concomitant implications for human welfare, livelihoods, and quality of life. Biological invasion is a natural process; however, human intervention has accelerated the rate of spread and naturalisation of many species across a multitude of foreign landscapes (Ewel et al. 1999:620), which has significantly increased during the last two centuries. Several studies have recognised humans and/or human activities as the driving force behind the introduction, and spread of alien species across ecosystems, with a direct correlation between the intensity of human activities and the intensity of lAP species invasion (Frenot et al. 2001:34). Humans are consequently both purposely and inadvertently vectors for the spread of lAP species across South Africa, and across the planet. This article examines the problem of lAP species in South Africa and the related impacts on biological diversity, ecosystems, and human populations. It critically evaluates how human activities and choices have exacerbated the proliferation of lAP species in specific contexts. Finally, approaches to effectively address the problem of lAP species are forwarded.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error