A well-balanced article about the biological control of Japanese knotweed was published today in a British newspaper. Most articles about the release of the Japanese knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori, pictured) that appeared last year were either dismissive of the idea of releasing a non-native insect to combat another non-native species, often on the grounds that the selected agents will also damage native species. Or the articles just copied bits of press statements.
A report, written by CABI for the Scottish government, Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government, estimates the cost of invasive non-native species to Great Britain in unprecedented detail. Invasive non-native species can have wide-ranging effects on biodiversity, crop production and people’s livelihoods. A better understanding of the negative impacts of invasive species will help to make people aware of invasive non-native species, to prevent new introductions and to deal with the problems caused by established invasive species.