Biologicals

Invasive Species Week 2024 offers chance for CABI to highlight its expertise in weed management in the UK

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20 May 2024, UK: The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) is once again raising awareness of the need to help prevent the spread and reduce the harmful impacts of invasive non-native plants and animals during UK Invasive Species Week 2024.

Invasive Species Week, which runs from 20-26 May, is also an opportunity for CABI to highlight its expertise in the sustainable weed management of invasive non-native species (INNS).

These include developing safer-to-use and environmentally friendly biological control agents (BCAs) to manage floating pennywort, Australian swap stonecrop, Himalayan balsam, and Japanese knotweed.

Cost to the Great Britain economy an estimated £4bn a year

Last year, CABI scientists carried out a study, published in the journal Biological Invasions, which revealed INNS – such as the aquatic weeds mentioned – cost the Great Britain economy an estimated £4bn a year.

There are currently around 2,000 INNS in the UK with 10-12 new species establishing themselves every year.

The list includes well-known established species such as grey squirrel, killer shrimp, giant hogweed, mink, and parakeets, as well as recently arrived, but highly impactful species such as the sea squirt Didemnum vexillum and ash dieback.

CABI’s expertise on invasive weed management highlighted

In this blog to mark Invasive Species Week, we encourage you to look back on these blogs which highlight our work to help tackle the most unwanted invasive aquatic weeds in the UK.

Read in this blog about CABI’s work to try and halt the spread of Himalayan balsam which frequently found along waterways or damp areas, is highly invasive and causes a number of negative effects. Not only does it compete with native plant species for light and space, but, with a high nectar content, it also attracts pollinators such as bees over native flowers. 

Find out more about in this blog how with the Azolla weevil last year marked a century of Azolla biocontrol in the UK in the fight against Azolla filiculoides – otherwise known as floating water fern or fairy fern.

Also see in this blog discover how Japanese knotweed – one of the most destructive of all the invasive species found in the UK, costing the British economy around £165.5m a year – is being tackled with several possible natural agents.

Meanwhile, discover in this blog how a microscopic mite could hold the key to stemming the tide of Crassula helmsii – also known as Australian swamp stonecrop, New Zealand pigmyweed or crassula – which can form vast monocultures across and surrounding waterbodies.

Finally, in this blog learn more about the floating pennywort weevil (Listronotus elongatus) is the latest biological control method to combat the highly invasive aquatic plant, floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides). 

Also Read: Savannah Seeds and ADAMA India Launch FullPage® Rice Cropping Solution for Paddy Farmers

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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