Florida nursery sales and economic impacts of 14 potentially invasive landscape plant species.
The Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association (FNGA) and the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) recently asked nurserymen to stop the production of 45 potentially invasive plant species that are relatively insignificant in the ornamental horticulture market. Controversies surround 14 additional species (Lantana camara, Schefflera actinophylla, Ruellia brittonia [R. tweediana], Asparagus densiflorus, Ardisia crenata, Nandina domestica, Psidium cattleianum, Ligustrum sinense, Colocasia esculenta, Eugenia uniflora, Scaevola sericea, Cinnamomum camphora, Ficus microcarpa and Lonicera japonica) designated as invasive by the FLEPPC, but which are highly ornamental, widely used in landscaping, or have high economic value according to the FNGA. A mail survey of Florida ornamental nursery growers identified sales volume and value for each of these species. Economic output and employment impacts were calculated to determine the effect phasing-out these species may have on Florida's nursery industry. Total statewide sales of the 14 species were estimated at $45 million in 2001, with $34 million in-state and $11 million out-of-state. These sales translate into combined economic output impacts of $59 million and employment impacts of 800 jobs for Florida's economy, accounting for approximately 3% of total statewide output and employment impacts created by the ornamental nursery industry. These estimated impacts should not be interpreted as the expected industry loss from the phase-out of these species. If a species is not available for purchase, consumers will probably substitute alternative species, reducing the effect of any phase-out.