Hydrobiologia

, Volume 656, Issue 1, pp 167–172 | Cite as

Nipping aquatic plant invasions in the bud: weed risk assessment and the trade

AQUATIC WEEDS Review Paper

Abstract

The importation and sale of ornamental pond and aquarium plants is the most important pathway for the introduction of potential aquatic weeds into and subsequent spread of these within a country. Most current aquatic weeds were at one time deliberately imported for ornamental use. This article discusses a weed risk assessment approach to evaluating new potential weeds. It assesses the potential invasiveness of an aquatic plant based on its habitat versatility, competitive ability, reproductive output and dispersal mechanisms, range of potential impacts, potential distribution and resistance to management activities. The Aquatic Weed Risk Assessment Model (AWRAM) has been used to evaluate potential aquatic weeds in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. A similar approach could be used to guide the management of aquatic weeds in Europe. Banning the importation of highly ranked species effectively keeps biosecurity risks off-shore. Assessment of aquatic plant trade patterns, especially volumes of high-risk species, along with knowledge of current and potential distribution of those species and ease of management, are all factors to be considered when evaluating candidate plants for prevention of sale and distribution. This is a highly effective way of restricting both long-distance dispersal and density of propagules. A cooperative approach involving researchers, policy and trade representatives has been an effective way to achieve regulation of this risk pathway. European initiatives to prevent the distribution of potential aquatic weeds include the preparation of lists of known invasive aquatic species by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), with recommendations to member countries to consider measures to prevent their spread (e.g. banning importation of, banning sale and distribution of, and undertaking control programmes against those species). Belgian initiatives include an upcoming Royal Decree concerning the importation, exportation and possession of non-native invasive species, development of codes of conduct with the horticultural sector and prohibiting the sale, purchase and intentional release of these species in the wild. This article reviews these approaches and discusses other species of concern.

Keywords

Biosecurity Ornamental aquarium & pond plant trade Proactive management Ban from sale 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Department of Conservation and MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, and the Australian ‘Defeating the Weed Menace’ programme for providing funding for this research. We also thank Sarah Brunel (EPPO) and Etienne Branquart (CRNFB) for providing unpublished information to assist with this article.

References

  1. Brunel, S., 2009. Pathway analysis: aquatic plants imported in 10 EPPO countries. Organisation Européenne et Méditerranéenne pour la Protection des Plantes/European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization Bulletin 39: 201–213.Google Scholar
  2. Champion, P. D. & J. S. Clayton, 2000. Border Control for Potential Aquatic Weeds. Stage 1 Weed Risk Model. Science for Conservation 141. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/sfc141.pdf].
  3. Champion, P. D. & J. S. Clayton, 2001. Border Control for Potential Aquatic Weeds. Stage 2 Weed risk assessment. Science for Conservation 185. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/sfc185.pdf].
  4. Champion, P. D., D. E. Hofstra & J. S. Clayton, 2007. Border Control for Potential Aquatic Weeds. Stage 3 Weed risk management. Science for Conservation 271. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/sfc271.pdf].
  5. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) 2009 Invasive alien plants – EPPO Lists and documentation. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.eppo.org/QUARANTINE/ias_plants.htm].
  6. Flora Europaea online 2009 [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/FE/fe.html].
  7. Les, D. H. & L. J. Mehrhoff, 1999. Introduction of nonindigenous aquatic vascular plants in southern New England: a historical perspective. Biological Invasions 1: 281–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Maki, K. & S. Galatowitsch, 2004. Movement of invasive aquatic plants into Minnesota (USA) through horticultural trade. Biological Conservation 118: 389–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity New Zealand 2009 Unwanted Organism Register. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/registers/uor].
  10. Moerings, R. 2009 Water Plants Catalogue. [cited 2009 September 11] [available on internet at http://www.moerings.nl/pagesuk/index.php?lang=en].
  11. Petroeschevsky A., & P. D. Champion, 2008. Preventing further introduction and spread of aquatic weeds through the ornamental plant trade. 16th Australian Weed Conference, Cairns. 200-302.Google Scholar
  12. Randall, R. P., 2002. A Global Compendium of Weeds. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Merredith, Victoria, Australia: 905.Google Scholar
  13. Reaser, L., A. Meyerson & B. Von Holle, 2008. Saving camels from straws: how propagule pressure-based prevention policies can reduce the risk of biological invasion. Biological Invasions 10: 1085–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Simberloff, D., 2009. The role of propagule pressure in biological invasions. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 40: 81–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Champion
    • 1
  • J. S. Clayton
    • 1
  • D. E. Hofstra
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations