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Invasive Species & Roads Conference


Halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services remains a key challenge of the 21st century. Invasive species are now recognised as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally and in Ireland. The SIMBIOSYS Project contributed to addressing this challenge by studying the impacts of road developments on alien species invasion and resistance.

As part of the dissemination of the SIMBIOSYS research results, we organised an Invasive Species & Roads workshop on May 23rd in the Botany Department, TCD. Eight invited national and international experts and SIMBIOSYS researchers delivered a series of presentations to an audience of over 60 participants from local authorities, the construction, landscaping and horticultural sectors, the scientific research community, relevant decision makers, and the interested public.
The workshop successfully:

  • Provided an overview of invasive plants and their ecology.
  • Provided an overview of national and international legislation, policy and guidelines concerning the management of invasive alien plants on roads.
  • Disseminated outputs from recent research activities on the impact of roads on biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Demonstrated with practical examples perspectives on invasive plant management through biological, physical and chemical control.

A plenary discussion at the end of the workshops facilitated discussion among key stakeholders in the road development and conservation sectors, identifying priority issues for future research and best practice in invasive species control and eradication implementation.


Key Findings


A synopsis of key messages and recommendations arising from the discussions can be found here.


Conference presentations can be found at the links below:


An introduction to the SIMBIOSYS Project. Jane Stout (Trinity College Dublin)

Invasive alien plants on Irish roads – an overview of the biological challenges. Pádraig Whelan (University College Cork)

The National Roads Authority and non-native invasive plants. Christian Nea (National Roads Authority)

Invasive alien plants - implications of the 2011 European Communalities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations. Gerry Leckey (National Parks & Wildlife Service)

Management of invasive alien plants during road construction. Paul Murphy (EirEco Environmental Consultants)

Gunnera tinctoria giant rhubarb: how can it be a threat? Micheline Sheehy Skeffington (NUI Galway)

Invasive non-native species - a City and County of Swansea perspective. Sean Hathaway (Swansea Council, Wales)

Curtailing infestation spread using chemical control techniques on Irish road infrastructure. John O’Donovan (O’Donovan Agri Environmental Services)

Developing landscaping and management regimes that resist invasion by invasive alien plants. Rosalyn Thompson (University College Cork)

Last updated 24 July 2013 by