Invasive tree species in South-Africa

This research project aims to assess dynamics of how invasive alien plant species (IAPS) influence and are influenced by biodiversity and climate change. Ecosystems interact differently with alien invasive plant species, more interestingly in biodiverse regions like South Africa. Multiple drivers determine the impacts found at farm to landscape level, thus assessing these drivers and their compounding effects (i.e. land-use, climate change, management, etc.) with earth observation data will give a holistic and mechanistic understanding of the invasions in South African ecosystems at the landscape level. The research further dives deep into better detection of IAPS through merging satellite data, assessing land-use vulnerability to biological invasions and the impact of IAPS on ecosystem functioning and vulnerability. By increasing the understanding of present and future invasions, this research should inform effective increased monitoring and robust management of alien invasive plant species in different ecosystems as well as conservation of native vegetation. Researcher: Ntandokazi Masimula

Koenraad Van Meerbeek
Koenraad Van Meerbeek
Assistant professor