With names like "devil weed" and "famine weed", Andy Coran perhaps no wonder these invasive plant species threaten to destroy one of the greatest wonders in the world: every year, 2 million animals migrate on the grasslands of East Africa.
Tourist Lodge decoration originally planted in Marseille, Kenya
In the Mara National Reserve, invasive species are spreading and migrating to natural vegetation in Savannah.
Large animals crossing the grasslands each year depend on them for food.
This is a grim message from a new investigation into the spread of the invasion of exotic plants by Serengeti --
The Mara ecosystem focuses on six species that pose the most serious threat to migratory animals.
Rampant invasion of Serengeti
The Mara ecosystem will certainly reduce feed production, resulting in a sharp decline in the number of wild wildebeards, zebras and other large grazing mammals, "said Arne Witt of Kabee Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
"These invasive plants are poisonous or not delicious, which means less feed is available for wildlife.
An intruder called famine weed.
Silver glue chrysanthemum)
Witt said that it has been shown that 90 of the food in the fields of livestock has been replaced, and the impact on wildlife is the same.
The food sources of these animals have been affected by the drought and the depletion of the Mara River, so their plight may intensify if the plants continue to spread.
According to the survey, the species has penetrated into the grassland area, and in the past there was only grass, forming unbearable vegetation bushes. Devil weed (
A messy shrub from the central and southern United States that actively invades the Savannah ecosystem is one of the worst of the six species surveyed.
It has reduced the chances of survival for the Nile crocodile in South Africa and the Cameroon low earth gorilla.
At the same time, famine weeds destroyed native grass in Kruger National Park, South Africa, and quickly suppressed the natural vegetation of the pasture.
The intruder from tropical America has penetrated into 34 African countries.
Witt found information in Marseille.
Compared with the survey earlier in 2016, the density of the Mara national reserve increased significantly in 2011.
Other invasive plants can directly hurt animals if they eat them.
The Thorn of the upright prickly pear (Cactus stricta)
The gums, tongue and internal organs of herbivores imported from the Americas may lead to potentially fatal bacterial infections.
The cactus can also form dense bushes, hinder action, and even hinder the road of Ma Dao.
However, Witt and his colleagues said that if action is taken fast enough now to stop the invasion, which is still in control, then nothing will be lost.
"We expect that unless action is taken now, both the distribution and the number of intrusion will grow exponentially," Witt said . ".
The researchers recommended three major solutions.
The first is to clear the tourist lodge of all invasive plants as soon as possible.
Second, the elimination of light infections already present in the wild, as efforts in other parts of Africa have shown that this is more effective in slowing down the spread of invasive plants than in dealing with dense established populations.
Finally, explore the potential of using beetles and other animals that attack plants.
For example, it can be seen from the trial in Tanzania that the chromium aena stem gall fly (
Can control devil weeds
"Biological control solutions should be implemented as much as possible," said Witt . ".
"Assuming this information has not been missed before, then it looks very serious," commented Richard Grenyer of Oxford University . ".
"Some of these species are repeat criminals with a record of ecological damage worldwide.
"In the context of climate change, poaching, denial of rights and constant drought
This is a current threat to road construction and another threat to biodiversity in Africa. ”“The Masai-
Marra is of global conservation importance and invasion of alien invasive plant species should be a wake-up call
"Call for action by national and international protection agencies," said Philip Hulm of Lincoln University in New Zealand . ".
"Tour operators seem to be a major way for exotic species to enter Marseille --
Mara, maybe these organizations should be for the long term
Long-term management of invasive plant species in the region.
"New research has shown that introduced plant species are becoming more and more threatening to Serengeti
Mara ecosystem, this is a problem that must be solved now, "said David Brandon.
Director of the charity Serengeti Watch.
"Coupled with other threats such as climate change and population growth, this challenge is indeed daunting.
"References: Koedoe, classification number: month. 4102/koedoe. v59i1.
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