Pet stores, aquarists and the internet trade as modes of introduction and spread of invasive macrophytes in South Africa

Martin, G.D and Coetzee, J.A. (2011) Pet stores, aquarists and the internet trade as modes of introduction and spread of invasive macrophytes in South Africa. Water SA, 37 (3). pp. 371-380. ISSN 0378-4738

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Abstract

Submerged aquatic invasive plant species are increasingly being recognised as a major threat to South African water ways. Pet stores, aquarists and the internet-mediated trade were investigated as pathways for submerged invasive macrophyte introductions into South Africa. Online and manually distributed surveys were used to determine the extent of movement of invasive as well as indigenous submerged plant species in South Africa. Sixty-four stores and twenty-three aquarists were surveyed. Four areas of risk were identified in this study. Firstly, and most importantly, a variety of invasive and/or prohibited plants are sold by pet stores. Secondly, there is a lack of knowledge regarding identification as well as regulation of submerged species, which may then result in the unintentional trade of potentially invasive species. It seems that, in many cases, the pet stores are ignorant or misinformed of the potential dangers, rather than intentionally attempting to breach the legislation. Thirdly, aquarists own, trade and move plants in and around the country, which makes it very difficult to monitor which species are being moved around South Africa and to what extent. Finally, the internet is a pathway of potential concern, but it is difficult to quantify its contribution to the trade of invasive species in South Africa.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Submerged macrophytes, introduction pathways, prohibited species, pet stores, pet shops, aquatic invasive plant species, South Africa
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:3634
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 14:45
Last Modified:11 Oct 2012 14:45
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