Abstract:

Assessing the risk of Hydrocleys nymphoides invasions

Menzi M Nxumalo,  Jabulile Sithole

Early Detection and Rapid Response programme (EDRR – funded by Working for Water) South African National Biodiversity Institute, P.O Box 52099, Berea Road, 4007, Durban, South Africa

Hydrocleys nymphoides (Water Poppy) is listed as category 1a on the list proposed for NEMBA regulations in South Africa. This makes it a priority research species for the Early Detection and Rapid Response programme, and it has a potential for eradication. It is native from South America and is known to be invasive in tropical and subtropical countries. The first specimen for South Africa was collected in 1951 at Durban Botanic Garden where it was introduced as an ornamental plant. So far only one locality where it has invaded in the wild has been recorded in South Africa: in the Howick area of KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of the current study was to assess the risks posed by the invasion of H. nymphoides. All watercourses within a radius of 20km of the known invasion locality were surveyed. The extent of infestation was measured every second month at the known locality. So far no new records of H. nymphoides invasions have been found. When comparing the size of infestation in different seasons, there was no significant difference. Maybe H. nymphoides is still in the “lag phase of its invasion: it has not yet realized its full potential; possibly because it cannot tolerate frost in winter. Awareness should be raised amongst the public about the potential dangers of invasion by the Water Poppy should it escape to frost-free areas.

Presentaion Topic

Assessing the risk of Hydrocleys nymphoides invasions

 

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South African National Biodiversity Institute, P.O Box 52099, Berea Road, 4007, Durban, South Africa

 

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