The major invasive alien species identified belong to Pinus and Acacia genera. The other less important, but nevertheless invasive genera, are Populus , Callistris , Jacaranda , Melia, Psidium and Ziziphus . Other species, such as Bauhinia spp., Senna spp., Callistris spp., Casuarina spp., Grevillea spp., Prunus spp., Albizia spp., Morus spp. and Toona spp., are generally invasive in very localized areas. Species of the genus Eucalyptus are also very prominent as invaders in the Vumba. Table 3 shows the species that were identified as invasive through the survey. Also included in the table is information on ecosystems invaded and the period of introduction of the species, if known.
The impact of invasive alien tree species on water sources in South Africa has been studied. The results indicate a reduction in steam flows of between 4.7 and 13.0 percent (Dye, 1996; Le Maitre et al ., 1996; Prinsloo and Scott, 1999, Le Maitre et al ., 2000). A nationwide study revealed that invasive alien plants were using 6.7 percent of the total mean annual surface runoff, or 9.95 percent of the utilizable surface runoff, on the basis of modelled estimates (Le Maitre et al ., 2000). These figures are crude estimates since there are large variations even between very similar adjacent watersheds, but are considered to be the best possible estimate on a national scale (Le Maitre pers. comm.). The invasive alien species have also been ranked according to their water use (Le Maitre et al ., 2000). In decreasing order of water use, they are Acacia mearnsii , A. cyclops , A. dealbata , Pinus spp., Eucalyptus spp., Prosopis spp., A. saligna , Melia azedarach , Solanum mauritianum , Lantana camara , Chromolaena odorata , Hakea spp., Populus spp., Jacaranda mimosifolia , Sesbania punicea , Rubus spp., A. longifolia , Psidium guajava , Caesalpinea decapetala , Salix spp., A. melanoxylon , A. decurrens and Quercus robur . Recent studies show however that steam-flow reduction by forest trees is not a constant for any tree species, and varies considerably in both time and space (Anon. page 29).
Planted area (ha)
The problem posed by these invasive alien tree species in Zimbabwe was realized by the Nyanga National Park as far back as the 1980s. The National Park estates are either adjacent to commercial forestry plantations (the major source of infestation) or had their own plantings in the early 1920s. The exotic species were planted as a deliberate policy to provide fuelwood and construction timber and to beautify the parks with ornamentals such as jacarandas and syringas. The syringa ( Melia azedarach ) was observed to be regenerating on its own in the 1950s (SRFC, 1956). Also, more invasions have been observed inside forest estates in pockets usually left for conservation purposes, along watercourses and outside timber estates. Despite the early awareness, there has been no institutionalized research on invasive tree species, although there has bee some research by individuals.
short poles, fuelwood
3.1.4 Control of invasive trees
matches, gully erosion
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