March 28, 2011
The gene bank spans 12 hectares, but the study found that 18% of the area was overtaken with invasive species that likely compete with the protected Nigerian plants for nutrients, space, and light. Among the 25 invasive species, 14 were herbs, 8 were vines, 2 were shrubs, and one was a tree.
Chromolaena odoratahas proven a costly invasive species in Africa. Commonly known as Siam weed, Christmas bush, or the common floss flower. Photo by: Ashasathees. .
Of particular concern, according to the author, is the North American Chromolaena odorata.
The invasive plants were likely brought-in by visitors, since the gene bank is open to the public. In addition, the protected area has had difficulties with farming encroaching on the land.
"Most invasive species, once established, becomes permanent. Eradication is possible in a few instances, but only at great expense and effort," writes Borokini. "Most others require control, which may be said to be successful when the plant no longer exceeds a threshold level determined by the objectives of the managers."
Borokini suggests training technical officers in invasive species, updating laws and awareness of invasive species in Nigeria, as well as improving the exchange of technical information on invasive species across African nations.
CITATION: Borokini T. I. 2011. Invasive Alien Plant Species in Nigeria and their effects on Biodiversity Conservation. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 4 (1):103-110.
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