Prioritisation of targets for weed biological control I: a review of existing prioritisation schemes and development of a system for South Africa

Paul O. Downey, Iain D. Paterson, Kim Canavan, Martin P. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Biological control is widely utilised for the management of invasive alien plants (IAP). With the ever-increasing number of IAPs, it is important to prioritise targets for biocontrol in order to maximise the use of resources and the chances of success. This paper reviewed 12 previous systems developed to prioritise plant targets for biocontrol. The review underpins the selection of attributes and methodologies for the prioritisation of targets for biocontrol in South Africa. All of the previous systems are purpose-built and context-specific, so a new system is required for the South African setting. Previous prioritisation systems were assessed based on the attributes and methodology adopted. The attributes of previous systems were grouped into three sections, being (1) impact/importance of the target plant, (2) likelihood of achieving success, and (3) investment required. Nineteen attributes from previous systems are included in the new system, while nine were excluded due to a requirement for legislation and/or research, or because they conflicted with objectives of the new system in some way. Two methodological approaches were identified for how systems sourced information, either sourcing information through expert knowledge or the use of available literature and data. This information was then applied through either a quantitative or qualitative scoring method. A quantitative scoring method, with information sourced from available resources, was selected as the most appropriate methodology in the context of the new system for South Africa. This review streamlined the development and testing of the South African Biological Control Target Selection system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2021

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