Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Review of the current situation for Solanum elaeagnifolium in the Mediterranean Basin.

Abstract

Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium, Cav.) is one of the important invasive plant species in Mediterranean Basin countries. Over the last 60 years, this plant has gone from a few accidental introductions to near monospecific populations in many areas of the Mediterranean Basin (in particular Greece and Morocco). Recent findings from Lebanon show that the invasion is ongoing. Solanum elaeagnifolium has a negative impact on crops, causing up to 75% yield loss, as well as an indirect impact by harbouring plant pests and diseases. Solanum elaeagnifolium is toxic to livestock and has a negative affect on the quality of life for humans. Losses of potential resource or revenue caused by its invasion include: decreased forage quality on grazing lands; decreased cropping land and amenity values of public space; increased water loss; increased water conveyancing costs; and increased forest restoration costs. Available control techniques need to be strengthened to reduce the impact of S. elaeagnifolium and prevent its spread. More attention needs to be devoted to biological control, which could provide regional management of this invasive alien plant. Sustainable management of S. elaeagnifolium will require coordination, education and support across the affected countries. Governments must have the means to detect, manage and control S. elaeagnifolium.