The importance of being earnest about invasives
ATREE’S Ramya Ravi was at two international conferences last month. The 15th International Conference on Ecology and Management of Plant Alien Invasives, Prague and the 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration, Cape Town.
She explained the ‘novel’ dependence on Prosopis juliflora - an invasive native to the Americas introduced in the 1960’s - by a majority of the residents of the Banni grasslands. Despite taking over 60% of the original grasslands and amidst appeals for its removal by the Maldharis (traditional pastoralists), the charcoal generated from Prosopsis remains both a primary and secondary source of income for many.
Her talk stressed the need for interdisciplinary research even in the context of ecological problems like invasions. And the importance of taking a holistic view when it comes to restoration— one that takes into account the socioeconomic and cultural dimensions of species invasions along with the ecological.