The Economics of Biological Invasions

The Economics of Biological Invasions

Edited by Charles Perrings, Mark Williamson and Silvana Dalmazzone

The growth of international trade and travel means that more species are being introduced to more places than ever before. This book represents the first concerted effort to understand the economic causes and consequences of biological invasions. The volume discusses the theoretical and methodological issues raised by invasion, including control strategies, modelling options, and a study of the economic, institutional and policy conditions that predispose countries to biological invasions. Also included are case studies of fisheries, agricultural systems, tropical forests and protected areas affected by invasive species in locations such as the Black Sea, Australia and Africa, and an evaluation of control programmes.

Chapter 9: Economic consequences of alien infestation of the Cape Floral Kingdom's Fynbos vegetation

Jane Turpie and Barry Heydenrych

Subjects: environment, ecological economics


9. Economic consequences of alien infestation of the Cape Floral Kingdom’s Fynbos vegetation Jane Turpie and Barry Heydenrych* 1 INTRODUCTION Fynbos (meaning ‘fine bush’) is the name of the dominant vegetation of the Cape Floral Kingdom on the southwestern part (6 per cent) of South Africa. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, and is also the richest (Cowling and Richardson, 1995). It has been described as ‘the worlds hottest hotspot’ (Myers, 1990) in terms of its biodiversity, having 8700 species of which 68 per cent are endemic to the kingdom (Low and Rebelo, 1996). Although much of this heath-like Fynbos vegetation remains today, thanks to its occupation of relatively sandy, infertile soils, it is becoming increasingly threatened by the rapid invasion of alien trees and shrubs, far more so than other South African biomes. While this process of degradation has been continuing for more than a century, it is only relatively recently that people have begun to realize the magnitude of the ecological and economic consequences that this may have. Serious control programmes have thus been initiated, but ecologists would argue that even more funding needs to be spent on the problem. However, with South Africa’s pressing socioeconomic needs, funding is hard to come by and every cent spent needs to be strongly justified. This chapter reviews existing published and unpublished information on the ecology and economic consequences of alien infestation of Fynbos vegetation, and attempts to fill some of the gaps...

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