Category Archives: Scientific research

Weed biocontrol projects update


CABI weed biocontrol summaries September 2014_Page_1

Defra is funding CABI to investigate the biological control of invasive, non-native aquatic and riverside weeds. This could help protect habitats where chemical and mechanical control are impractical or prohibitively expensive; and to help meet requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.

See the latest updates of our work.

New paper on the impacts of Himalayan balsam


Himalayan balsam in the UK

Himalayan balsam in the UK

This paper compares Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) in both its native and introduced ranges.

Understanding the ecology of a plant can provide insights into whether it can become a problematic weed in the introduced range, despite it being benign in the native range.

The team used morphalogical methods to compare height, leaf area and looked at the shoot ratio, natural enemy damage and the colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the roots.

Pollinator-mediated interactions between native plants and the invasive alien Himalayan balsam


A new paper has been published about pollinator-mediated interactions between native plants and the invasive alien species, Himalayan balsam. This PhD thesis explores whether the abundance of Himalayan balsam reduces native plant reproductive success.

The influence of habitat conditions on the performance of two invasive annuals


A new paper detailing research conducted in 2008–2010 discusses the influences of habitat conditions on Himalayan balsam and Bidens frondosa, another invasive plant species

K. Kostrakiewicz-Gierałt, M. Zając. (2014) The influence of habitat conditions on the performance of two invasive, annuals — Impatiens glandulifera and Bidens frondosaBiologia. April 2014, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 449-462.

Population genetics of Himalayan balsam


Image of booksNew book published on the population genetics of Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) which compares native and introduced populations.

It look at how invasive species can interfere in the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and how a better understanding of the evolution of such species will be useful when planning their management and eradication.

See the book online.

Biocontrol of escaped ornamentals


Picking orange balsamA new paper discusses biological control (using natural enemies) of plants that have escaped from gardens and are invading wild habitats in UK. These include Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, Australian swamp stonecrop, floating pennywort, giant hogweed, water fern, rhododendron and buddleja.

Research points to Himalayan balsam as a soil erosion problem


Himlayan balsam root ball with soil

Himlayan balsam root ball with soil

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) promotes soil erosion along watercourses, according to research published in the Journal of Soil Sediments last month (Dec 2013)

Philip Greenwood and Nikolaus Kuhn from the University of Basel show that erosion along riparian zones is statistically greater where Himalayan balsam is present when compared to topographically comparable sites that support natural vegetation. 

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