The latest issue of Wood Wise looks at the problem of invasive species managment in woodland habitats, with a number of best practice case studies. The species covered are American skunk cabbage, deer, floating pennywort, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and rhododendron. Contributions have come from the Woodland Trust, New Forest Non-Native Plants Project and Environment Agency.
Invasive non-native species (INNS) are defined as ‘species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity or have other unforeseen impacts’.They are one of the most serious global threats to biodiversity today, along with habitat destruction and climate change.
They also impact on humans; each year they cost the UK economy alone £1.7 billion, whereas the European Union spends at least €12 billion a year, and figures suggest the damage caused by INNS amounts to around five per cent of the world’s economy. Eradication efforts also require many man hours.