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C·I·B REPRESENTATION AT SAAB MEETING 2007

The South African Association of Botany (SAAB) held its 33rd Annual Conference at the University of Cape Town from 14 - 18 January 2007. This meeting was attended by more than 240 botanists from around South Africa, giving many students a first-time opportunity to present their scientific work to their colleagues. The C·I·B was represented by 7 oral presentations, justifying a special session on “Invasive Plants”, and 4 posters.

This invasive plants session was opened with Dr. Jesse Kalwij’s presentation on the latest results of his project studying corridor functioning of road verges for the dispersal of invasive alien plants. A more experimental approach was presented by Dr. Mark van Kleunen who showed that the reproductive traits of Iris species are important predictors of naturalisation success. Prof. Karen Esler subsequently discussed the various vectors and actors that play a role in the dispersal of invasive alien species, while Dr. Ruan Veldtman, a previous C·I·B post-doctoral associate, presented a multi-scale monitoring approach to assess the spatio-temporal invasion status of species. Dr. John Wilson elaborated on the importance of the spatio-temporal dimension of invasion biology with an analysis showing that comparative tests for invasive traits need to consider residence time and potential range.

Applied theoretical studies were presented by Shelley Vosse and Llewellyn Foxcroft on the effects of invasive alien plants on riparian fynbos species, and on the invasion status of ornamental plants in the Kruger National Park, respectively. In addition to the presentations and posters, Prof. David Richardson led one of the five field excursions; visiting invaded and cleared sites along the Molenaars River in Du Toit's Kloof, and various invaded sites around Worcester and along the Breede River.