Biological invasions in South Africa
South Africa has much to offer as a location for the study of biological invasions. It is an ecologically diverse country comprised of nine distinct terrestrial biomes , four recognised marine ecoregions , and two sub-Antarctic Islands. The country has a rich and chequered socio-political history, and a similarly varied history of species introductions. There has been a long tradition of large-scale conservation in the country, and efforts to manage and regulate invasions began in the nineteenth century, with some notable successes, but many setbacks. With the advent of democracy in the early 1990s, South Africa established large alien species control programmes to meet the dual demands of poverty alleviation and conservation, and has since pioneered regulatory approaches to address invasions. In terms of research, South Africa has played an important role in the development of invasion science globally. It continues to have one of the most active communities anywhere in the world, with strengths in theoretical and applied invasion science, and world-leading expertise in specific sub-disciplines (e.g. the classical biological control of invasive plants).
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