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Management of the Invasive Hill Raspberry (Rubus niveus) on Santiago Island, Galapagos: Eradication or Indefinite Control?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Jorge Luis Renteria*
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK
Mark R. Gardener
Affiliation:
Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
F. Dane Panetta
Affiliation:
Invasive Plant Science, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Ecosciences Precinct, GPO Box 267, Brisbane Qld 4001, Australia
Mick J. Crawley
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK
*
Corresponding author's E-mail: j.renteria07@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

The eradication of an invasive plant species can provide substantial ecological and economic benefits by eliminating completely the negative effects of the weed and reducing the high cost of continuing control. A 5-yr program toward the eradication of hill raspberry (Rubus niveus Thunb.) in Santiago Island is evaluated using delimitation and extirpation criteria, as well as assessment of the ecological community response to management techniques. Currently, hill raspberry is located in the humid zone of Santiago island. It is distributed over three main infestations, small patches, and many scattered individuals within an area of approximately 1,000 ha. New infestations are constantly being found; every year, new detections add an area of approximately 175 ha. Adult and juvenile individuals are still found, both beyond and within known infestations. Both plant and seed bank density of hill raspberry decreased over time where infestations were controlled. Species composition in the seed bank and existing vegetation were significantly different between areas under intensive control and adjacent uninvaded forest. After 5 yr of intensive management, delimitation of hill raspberry has not been achieved; new populations are found every year, increasing the infested area that requires management. Off-target effects on native species resulting from control efforts seem to be substantial. Although a vast increase in economic investment would allow intensive searching that might enable all individuals to be found and controlled, the resultant disturbance and off-targets effects could outweigh the conservation benefits of eradication.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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References

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