Field Trip 06: A Review of biological control in Mediteranean Environments 11 & 12 September
Coordinator: Nicola Kruger
Facilitator: Professor John Hoffmann
Research Entomologist, Weed Division, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
Date: 11 & 12 September 2020
Capacity: 20 persons minimum
Old Villiage | Modderfontein Lodge (https://www.theoldvillage.co.za/index.htm)
Old Village on Modderfontein Farm (circa 1725) is a unique country retreat with beautifully restored self-catering cottages and a period country Restaurant and Pub, located in a magnificent setting on a organic citrus farm outside the village of Citrusdal, 2 hours from Cape Town along the scenic N7.
The renovated cottages have been individually furnished and decorated with an understated elegance, complementing the character of each. All have fully equipped kitchens, spotless bathrooms, fireplaces, air-conditioning and satellite televison. Solar power provides electric light and hot water. Quality mattresses,, crisp linen, fluffy towels and attention to detail complete the picture and ensure a comfortable stay.
Cost: Accommodation at Modderfontein Old Village (www.theoldvillage.co.za)
Sharing cottage: R4 390 per person, Single: R4 680
- One-night accommodation at Old Village, Modderfontein in a variety of cottages / houses. All rooms will be offered with private bathroom.
- Picnic lunch en route the lodge, dinner and breakfast at the lodge.
- Lunch at Muisbosskerm
- Transfers in a luxury 32 seater coach
- Local tour-guide
Description: Invasive alien plants pose a major threat to biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a mediterranean ecosystem.Large shrubs and trees from South America, Australia and Europe have invaded the mediterranean shrublands changing soil nutrient cycles, increasing fire loads, altering fire cycles, overshadowing and outcompeting indigenous vegetation and impacting water supplies.Successful use of biological control to manage the impact and threat of invasive alien Acacia species from Australia and several South American Fabaceae will be discussed and demonstrated by Professor John Hoffmann who has a wealth of experience in this field. Delegates will be able to learn about how to manage similar problems in their home environments, for example in Portugal where biological control of Australian Acacia species has been initiated.
Itinerary | Day 01
Travel on day 1 is a 5 hour drive but with numerous stops along the way it will be approximately seven hours.
We will leave Mykonos early in the morning and drive to Rocher Pan Nature reserve a short drive up the coast. Here, if the pan is flooded, we are likely to see a variety of birds. We will also be investigating of Acacia cyclops, an invasive Australian tree and look for the presence of biological control agents on this species.
From Rocher Pan we will drive through the Agter Piketberg and then on to Citrusdal before climbing the mountainous pass into Algeria forest station in the central Cederberg. As we cross the Olifantsrivier we will be looking for sites where Sesbania punicea used to invade.
After lunch at the forest station, we will drive down the Rondegat valley. Before we travel down this route we will look at photographs of the valley before clearing of Acacia mearnsii (Black Wattle) and view the current state of the valley. We will stop to investigate the presence of biological control agents that target seed production of Acacia mearnsii, without compromising the bark and timber value of the tree.
We will discuss the successful efforts to remove invasive black bass from a stretch of this river in order to protect habitat for the rare and endangered fish species found in this catchment.
We will end the day with dinner at the Old Village in Modderfontein.
Itinerary | Day 02
Breakfast is served at the restaurant at the Old Village.
Travel on day 2 is a four and a half hour drive but with fewer stops on the way.
We will drive down into the historic Moravian Mission town of Wupperthal. This historic village was burnt to the ground in fires in December 2018. There will be an opportunity to buy the world famous veldskoen that are manufactured here.
Spring flower displays should provide an opportunity for both colourful landscape photographs and detailed macro photography of the rich floral diversity.
Next stop will be the Lambert’s Bay Bird Island Nature Reserve Conservation to visit the vast colony of Cape Gannets.
Lunch at Muisboskerm & back to Mykonos via Elands Bay and Velorenvlei.