MACDONALD, I. A. W. (1983)

Alien trees, shrubs and creepers invading indigenous vegetation in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game reserve complex in Natal.

Bothalia 1983 Vol. 14 No. 3/4 pp. 949-959. ISSN 0006-8241. 


The results of a survey and monitoring programme conducted in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game  Reserve Complex in Natal are presented. The area consists of 900 km2  of savanna and forest vegetation. Twenty alien tree, shrub and creeper species currently invading indigenous vegetation within the Complex are listed. Herbaceous aliens were not surveyed. An analysis of the habitats being invaded by these alien plants is presented and it is concluded that riverine and forest-edge habitats  are those most seriously threatened  by  alien  plant  infestations. The  distribution, nature and  history of the infestations  of each  species  are  summarized.  Distribution  maps given for the eight species which are currently most important in the Complex. The potential threat posed by each species is estimated and the species are ranked in order of priority for contro  action. The  South  American  composite, Chromolaena (Eupatorium) odorata, is identified as being the alien species currently  posing the greatest threat to natural vegetation in the Complex. The Asian tree, Melia azedarach, is considered the second most important alien species invading the area. It is concluded that both these species should be declared noxious weeds throughout the  Republic and that research into their biological control is urgently required.



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