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C·I·B RESEARCHERS ON SUB-ANTARCTIC MARION ISLAND

A group of 10 C·I·B researchers and students accompanied by Dr. Roger Worland from the British Antarctic Survey is currently on Marion Island investigating a range of questions concerning invasive alien species on the island. Both plants and invertebrates form the focus of the work. Ethel Phiri and Dr. Justine Shaw are building on large scale alien plant surveys undertaken by Tshililo Ramaswiela to understand the factors influencing small scale distributions and the impacts of invasive alien plants on ecosystem functioning. Felufhelo Mukhadi and Asanda Phiri are completing work on the phenology of the indigenous and alien plant species to compare this with work done by Brian Huntley in the 1960s. Information from these projects will be used to inform management of the invasive alien plants on the island.

Jen Lee is continuing her work on abundance structure and range limits of the invasive slug, Deroceras panormitanum, and on the hull-fouling assemblage on the SA Agulhas. Dr. Roger Worland is investigating the thermal limits of indigenous and invasive invertebrates in collaboration with Charlene Janion. Anne Treasure is setting up her investigation of terrestrial food webs as a test of food web theory, and Greg McClelland is commencing a population study of the Lesser Sheathbill thought to be indirectly affected by mouse predation on its winter, invertebrate food resource. Mashudu Mashau is providing assistance to the new projects, and Steven Chown is coordinating the group.

Research concerning interactions between climate change and invasion on Marion Island, as a test of generalities in the field, is a major focus of the work done by the C·I·B.

 

Greg McClelland, Justine Shaw, Mashudu Mashau and Ethel Phiri setting out for a week of fieldwork on Marion Island.
A carpet of the invasive alien plant, Sagina procumbens, with individuals of the indigenous Acaena magellanica.