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C·I·B knowledge part of encyclopaedia on invasive species

Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions front cover

Core team members of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) at Stellenbosch University are among an impressive group of experts who have contributed to a new global encyclopaedia that provides easy access to various topics relating to invasive species.

The bulky 792-page Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions, which includes 400 colour illustrations and 58 tables was recently published by the University of California Press as part of a series called Encyclopedia of the Natural World.

Its editors are Prof. Daniel Simberloff, the Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee and Prof. Marcel Rejmánek of the University of California, Davis.

The encyclopaedia is the first of its kind on the topic. It highlights the growing importance of biological invasions as a threat to biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem management around the world.

The encyclopaedia has contributions from leading scientists from around the world, and addresses all aspects of this subject at a global level—including invasions by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria—in succinct, alphabetically-arranged articles. The volume encompasses fields of study including biology, demography, epidemiology, geography, ecology, evolution, sociology, and natural history.

C·I·B researchers contributed to four chapters.

Prof. Dave Richardson, the C·I·B’s Deputy Director: Science Strategy based at Stellenbosch University and a world expert on plant invasions, contributed a chapter on the influence of forestry and agroforestry on the spread of invasive species, and wrote another on trees and shrubs that have become invasive around the world.

Prof. Richardson is also co-author of the chapter on Eucalypts species (gum trees) along with one of the encyclopaedia’s editors, Prof. Rejmánek.

In the chapter focusing specifically on invasions in South Africa (one of a few regions of the world selected for special treatment in the encyclopedia), he collaborated with C·I·B core team members Dr John Wilson of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Dr Olaf Weyl from the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), and marine biologist Prof. Charles Griffiths of the University of Cape Town. This chapter provides a brief summary of the current status of invasive species in South Africa, progress in dealing with invasions, and some insights on how research on invasions in South Africa has contributed to global knowledge in the field.

According to Prof. Richardson, it was an honour to contribute to the encyclopaedia, which he believes will become a standard work of reference on biological invasions for years to come. “It shows that South African researchers are playing an active role in the field of invasion biology,” he says.

Click HERE for details on the encyclopaedia, or (in South Africa) order a copy at Kalahari.net

Report by Engela Duvenage (science@sun.ac.za)