Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Do invasive alien plants really use more water? Study investigates?

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a study conducted in South Africa to quantify the long-term patterns of groundwater use by Prosopis invasions and compare them with co-occuring indigenous trees (Acacia karroo). This information on the impacts can then be used to prioritise areas for clearing Prosopis and protecting groundwater. The study results to motivate for the clearing of Prosopis invasions with a specific focus on stands found along river courses and on floodplains. The research does suggest, however, that water savings from clearing Prosopis are unlikely to be significant in areas where there are comparable densities and sizes of deep-rooted indigenous trees as there are of Prosopis, or where there are more indigenous trees than Prosopis.