Earth Fire and Water: applying novel techniques to eradicate the invasive procumbent pearlwort Sagina procumbens, on Gough Island, a World Heritage Site in the South Atlantic

Cooper, J., Cuthbert, R. J., Gremmen, N. J. M., Ryan, P. G. and Shaw, J. D. (2011). Earth Fire and Water: applying novel techniques to eradicate the invasive procumbent pearlwort Sagina procumbens, on Gough Island, a World Heritage Site in the South Atlantic. In: C. R. Veitch, M. N. Clout and D. R. Towns, Island nvasives: eradication and management: proceedings of the International Conference on Island Invasives. International Conference on Island Invasives, Auckland, New Zealand, (162-165). 2010.

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Author Cooper, J.
Cuthbert, R. J.
Gremmen, N. J. M.
Ryan, P. G.
Shaw, J. D.
Title of paper Earth Fire and Water: applying novel techniques to eradicate the invasive procumbent pearlwort Sagina procumbens, on Gough Island, a World Heritage Site in the South Atlantic
Formatted title
Earth Fire and Water: applying novel techniques to eradicate the invasive procumbent pearlwort Sagina procumbens, on Gough Island, a World Heritage Site in the South Atlantic 
Conference name International Conference on Island Invasives
Conference location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference dates 2010
Proceedings title Island nvasives: eradication and management: proceedings of the International Conference on Island Invasives
Place of Publication Gland, Switzerland
Publisher IUCN
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
ISBN 9780478093438
Editor C. R. Veitch
M. N. Clout
D. R. Towns
Start page 162
End page 165
Total pages 4
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The Eurasian plant procumbent pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) was fi rst reported in 1998 on Gough Island, a 
cool-temperate island and World Heritage Site in the central South Atlantic. The fi rst population was discovered adjacent to a meteorological station, which is its assumed point of arrival. Despite numerous eradication attempts, the species has spread along a few hundred metres of coastal cliff, but has not as yet been found in the island’s sub-Antarctic-like mountainous interior. At South Africa’s sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands Sagina is spreading rapidly in vegetated and unvegetated habitats, and is considered beyond control. A similar situation could eventuate on Gough Island if the plant spreads inland, with deleterious effects on the island’s ecosystems. Eradication methods progressively used on Gough Island included mechanical removal and dumping of plants and seed-infested soil at sea well away from the island, application of herbicides to kill both growing plants and germinating seeds, gas fl ames to kill seeds and seedlings in rock cracks, near-boiling water to kill seeds in soil, high-pressure water jets to strip infested areas of soil and peat down to bedrock, and spraying with salt water. Germination trials have shown that spraying with sea water inhibits seedling production and a steady decline in seed load in infested areas over almost a decade. However, eradication has been hampered by the plant’s inconspicuous nature, fast growth rate, large seed production leading to an equally large seed bank, long-lived seeds, diffi cult terrain that requires qualifi ed rope-access technicians to work in safety, and the island’s remote location. Although eradication has not yet been achieved, S. procumbens remains confi ned to its current restricted distribution on the island.
Keyword Inconspicuous
Seed bank
Mechanical removal
Herbicide
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 19 May 2014, 12:32:23 EST by Justine Shaw on behalf of School of Biological Sciences