- Category: Newsflash
- Published: Wednesday, 02 April 2014 19:50
- Written by Peter Nagel
- Hits: 55
Every year the South African government spends millions of rands on eradicating invasive alien plant species. What makes them so harmful? Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are plant species introduced from other countries that can reproduce and colonise areas rapidly, while becoming a threat to our natural biodiversity. In South Africa, IAPs have invaded an estimated area of 10,1 million ha, which is larger than the area of KwaZulu-Natal. Many IAPs are able to compete strongly with indigenous plant species, negatively affecting the proper functioning of an ecosystem, including affecting the survival of animals that rely on indigenous plants. This has the ability to cause mass extinctions of indigenous plants and animal species.