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.

Himalayan balsam distribution data from RINSE

Himalayan balsamVolunteers from RINSE (Reducing the Impact of Non-Native Species in Europe) performed a survey of the River Bure (in the Norfolk Broads), tracking it from source to sea and seeing how many invasive plants such as Himalayan balsam they cam across.

See their website for more information and a map of their results.

Himalayan balsam impact on invertebrates

Himalayan balsam infographic

Himalayan balsam is one of the UK’s most widespread invasive weed species, colonising river banks, waste land, damp woodlands, roadways and railways. Research by CABI scientists has shown local invertebrate biodiversity is negatively affected by the presence of Himalayan balsam. This leads to fragmented, destabilised ecosystems, which has serious consequences on processes and functioning, and complicates habitat restoration unless remedial actions are implemented.

Read more >

New paper published

New paper from the CABI science team:

InvertebrateTanner, R.A., Varia, S., Eschen, R., Wood, S., Murphy, S.T. and Gange, A.C. (2013) Impacts of an invasive non-native annual weed, Impatiens glandulifera, on above- and below-ground invertebrate communities in the United Kingdom. PLoS ONE 8(6), e67271, 13pp. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067271