Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions

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Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental

horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions

Philip E

. Hulme

1

f>

I

Giuseppe Brundu

2

I

Marta Carboni

3

.4

I

Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz

5

Stef

a

n Dullinger

6

I

Regan Earll

I

Franz Essl

6

I

Pab

l

o Gonzalez-Moreno

8

I

Quentin J

.

Groom

9

0

I

Christoph Kueffer

10

·

11

I

lngolf Kuhn

12

·

13

I

NoiHie Maure

l

14

Ana Novoa

11

·

15

I

Jan Perg

l

16

I

Petr Pysek

16

·

17

I

Hanno Seebens

18

Julia M. Touza

20

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Mark van Kleunen

14

1

Laura N.H.

Verbrugge

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·

22

1The Bio-Protection Research Centre, Uncoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

2Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

3Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine (LECA), University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France 4Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine (LECA), CNRS, Grenoble, France

5Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Coventry, UK 6Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University Vienna, Vienna, Austria 7Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Cornwall, UK

SCAB

I, Egham, UK

9Botanic Garden Meise, Meise, Belgium

101nstitute of Integrative Biology, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland 11Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa 12Department of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research -UFZ, Halle, Germany 13Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

14Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

Rob Tanner

19

151nvasive Species Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirsten bosch Research Centre, Claremont, South Africa 16lnstitute of Botany, Department of Invasion Ecology, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Pmhonice, Czech Republic

17Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 18Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt, Germany 19European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, Paris, France 20Environment Department, University of York, York, UK

21lnstitute for Science, Innovation and Society, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 22Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Exotic Species, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Correspondence Philip E. Hulme

Email: philip.hulme@lincoln.ac.nz

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Abst

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1. Ornamental horticulture is the primary pathway for invasive alien plant in

troduc-tions. We critically appraise published evidence on the effectiveness of four policy

instruments that tackle invasions along the horticulture supply chain: pre-border

import restrictions, post-border bans, industry codes of conduct and consumer

education.

2. Effective pre-border interventions rely on rigorous risk assessment and high

indus-try compliance. Post-border sales bans become progressively less effective when

alien species become widespread in a region.

Konstanzer Online-Publikations-System (KOPS)

URL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:352-2-1ohty31azkc1f4

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93

3. A lack of independent performance

evaluation and of

public disclosure, limits the

uptake and effectiveness

of

vo

l

untary codes

of conduct

and discourages shifts

in

consumer preference away from invasive alien

species.

4.

Policy implications.

Closing

the

plant

invas

i

on

pathway associated with ornamental

horticu

l

ture requires government-industry

agreements

to fund effective pre- and

post-border weed risk assessments

that can be subsequently

supported by widely

adopted, as well as verifiable, industry

codes of conduct.

This will ensure producers

and consumers make in

f

ormed

choices

in the face

of

better targeted public

educa-tion addressing plant invasions.

KEYWORDS

biological invasions, biosecurity, exotic, gardening, invasive species, legislation, non-native, nurseries, trade, weed

1

INTRODU

C

TION

The global trade in ornamental nursery stock is the dominant path-way by which invasive alien plants have been introduced world-wide (Dodd. Burgman, McCarthy, & Ainsworth. 2015; Faulkner. Robertson, Rouget & Wilson, 2016; Jiang et al., 2011; Lambdon et al.. 2008: Lehan. Murphy, Thorburn, & Bradley, 2013; Rojas-Sandoval & Acevedo-Rodriguez, 2015). This is not surprising since the ornamental nursery trade (comprising commerce in finished, bareroot and seed-ling trees. shrubs, ground covers. grasses, vines and aquatic plants of sale size, bulbs and seeds) is largely built around commerce in alien plant species, their hybrids, cultivars and varieties (Drew, Anderson, & Andow, 2010). Alien species often represent a higher proportion than native species In terms of what is cultivated, the available stock in retail outlets and consumer purchases. For example, in both Great Britain and New Zealand, there is an order of magnitude greater num-ber of plant species In cultivation than native plant species in the wild (Armitage et al., 2016; Gaddurn. 1999). In the United States, alien spe-cies comprise as much as 80% of the stock held by nurseries (Brzuszek & Harkess, 2009; Harris, Jiang, Uu, Brian, & He, 2009) and account for up to 90% of nursery revenue (Kauth & Perez, 2011). While only a relatively small proportion of taxa escape cultivation, often less than 10% (Hulme, 2012), the sheer number of taxa cultivated results in the ornamental pathway being the main source of naturalized and invasive alien plant species in natural areas world-wide (Figure 1).

Annual sales of nursery stock amount to US $430 million in Canada (Agriculture-Canada 201S), US $500 million in Australia (PHA 2015), US $1,054 million in the United Kingdom (Defra 2016) and US $4,267 million in the United States (USDA 2014). Policymakers could there-fore argue that plant invasions are an unavoidable minor cost incurred to support an industry that delivers significant economic benefits and brings pleasure to millions of gardeners. But can appropriate policies be designed to target the ornamental nursery industry supply chain such that changes to operations to mitigate invasions will be most easy to implement, cost-effective and acceptable?

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FIGURE 1 The percentage of 450 alien plant species that are

listed as established or invasive in one or more regions of the world and that have been introduced through ornamental horticulture. The term invasive refers to an alien species established in natural or semi-natural ecosystems that Is an agent of change threatening native biodiversity. Data and definitions are from Weber (2003)

2

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INTE

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RATING IN

V

ASIVE SPECIES

POLI

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CRO

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THE ORNAMENTAL PLANT

SUPPLY

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HAIN

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City/Local oouncils e.g. landscaping Local Govemment/NGOs e.g. restoration Higlway authorlies e.g. revegetation Imports

FIGURE 2 Schematic illustration of the ornamental nursery supply chain identifying the route of alien germplasm from import, through propagation, to retail and subsequent use. The size and shading of the arrows represent the relative magnitude of the flows between each component and are based on financial data from Great Britain (Barney, 2014). The domain of four major policy instruments across the supply chain is also depicted

integration in the industry results in organizations playing multiple roles in the supply chain. For example, botanic gardens not only im

-port new germplasm but they are often also involved in plant breeding as well as retail to the general public (Hulme, 2011).

Actors within the ornamental nursery industry have different motivations, knowledge of invasive plant species and enthusiasm for

market change (Humair, Kueffer, & Siegrist, 2014). Thus, while several

policies exist addressing plant invasions arising from ornamental

hor-ticulture (Barbier, Knowler, Gwatipedza, Reichard, & Hodges, 2013;

Reichard & White, 2001), they have seldom been viewed as an inte

-grated suite of options targeting different actors (Drew et al., 2010). Preventing the introduction or establishment of potentially invasive alien species is often the most cost-effective and environmentally desirable policy option to manage invasions (Keller, Lodge, & Finnoff, 2007). The ornamental industry supply chain can be used to assess

the merit of four major policy instruments targeting prevention: pre

-border import restrictions; post-border plant sales bans (both affecting breeders, propagators and producers); industry codes of conduct (ad

-opted by trade and public retail outlets); and tools to engender con

-sumer behavioural change through increased public awareness.

3

I

PRE-BORDER RESTRICTIONS

ON

THE

IMPORT

OF

INVASIVE PLANTS

Two contrasting approaches have been developed to restrict the importation of invasive alien plant species: blacklists that treat all unlisted plant imports as innocent until proven guilty vs. whitelists

that view all unlisted plants as guilty until proven innocent (Dehnen

-Schmutz, 2011). Both New Zealand and Australia have adopted a stringent whitelist approach in which species not recorded on a per

-mitted list require evaluation through a formal weed risk assessment

procedure (Auld, 2012). European nations often promote blacklists as

a cost-effective means to limit the importation of invasive alien plants (Essl et al., 2011). Under these circumstances weed risk assessments are used to support the listing of species on blacklists. However, due

to the large number of ornamental species available for import, cost

of risk assessments and the frequent lack of consensus among stake

-holders in relation to the listing criteria, blacklists are rarely compre

-hensive and are generally less effective than a whitelist of permitted species (Hulme, 2015a).

Furthermore, without mechanisms to check compliance, particu

-larly in the face of increasing Internet trade in invasive alien species (Humair, Humair, Kuhn, & Kueffer, 2015) and poor species identifi

-cation (Thurn, Mercer, & Weisel, 2012), both blacklists and whitelists can be easily bypassed. Although in New Zealand all incoming travel

-lers, shipping containers and mail items are screened for potential risk goods, this is not the case in most other countries where national bor

-ders are more porous and the biosecurity infrastructure less effective.

As a consequence, legislation often has to be updated retrospectively

following the discovery that a previously introduced species has be

-come invasive in the territory. Under these circumstances, policy con

-siderations shift from prohibiting entry towards preventing the wider dissemination and spread of species already in cultivation.

4

I

POST-BORDER BANNING OF INVASIVE

PLANT

SPECIES

FROM SALE

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species being dropped from legislation. For example, in relation to a ban on the sale of five aquatic ornamental plants in Great Britain in

2013, the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) ensured

three species worth over US $4 million in annual sales were not listed

and "campaigned long and hard to make the proposed prohibition list

as short as possible" (OATA 2013). While surveys often reveal that the ornamental nursery industry supports the existing sales bans (Coats, Stack, & Rumpho, 2011; Humair et al., 2014; Vanderhoeven et al.,

2011; Verbrugge, Leuven, van Valkenburg, & van den Born, 2014),

such assessments may underestimate the intense industry opposition

and lobbying prior to any sales ban being implemented. In the future, it would be valuable for surveys on industry attitudes to new regulations

to be undertaken before any agreement with the government has been

reached in order to better capture motivations and concerns of horti

-cultural professionals. In addition, if mechanisms to enforce regulations

are weak then compliance with legislation is often poor. An assessment

of over 1,000 ornamental nurseries in the United States indicated rates

of compliance with invasive species regulations to be <SO% (Oele, Wagner, Mikulyuk, Seeley-Schreck, & Hauxwell, 2015).

Sales bans can also be ineffective in limiting the negative impact of plant invasions if the target species is already widespread in the region. The consultation on banning plants from sale in Great Britain initially

targeted 15 species, however, several of these were already so wi

de-spread that the logic of any sales ban impacting on their future spread

was challenged by the ornamental industry and these species were

not listed (Figure 3). Even for the five species that were subsequently

banned from sale, the legislation will have greatest impact on the two

least common species: floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides

and water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora. For the remaining three

spe-cies, a sales ban may be insufficient to prevent further spread and thus,

to be most effective, the legislation would need to be supported by a

coordinated eradication campaign. Even under this ideal scenario, es-capes will continue to occur through natural dispersal and illegal

dump-ing of green waste from existing plantings in public and private gardens.

5

I

CODES OF CONDUCT AND INDUSTRY

SELF- REGULATION

Increasing governmental support for deregulation combined with

industry opposition to restrictive legislation has led to a progressive

emphasis on corporate responsibility and voluntary codes of con

-duct world-wide (Sethi, 2011). Several voluntary codes of conduct

have been developed to address the management of invasive plant

species by the ornamental nursery industry (Baskin, 2002; Heywood & Brunei, 2009; Verbrugge et al., 2014). These voluntary codes of conduct suffer from a number of drawbacks that limit their contribu

-tion to preventing the import, propagation and sale of invasive plants.

An important aspect of any voluntary code of conduct is that there

should be consequences for non-compliance in terms of bad public

-ity and brand image. This requires that suppliers and customers can

readily identify actors participating in voluntary codes of conduct and

would involve procedures to audit compliance reasonably frequently.

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Species

FIGURE 3 Fifteen plant species proposed for a sales ban (Defra 2007) and the percentage of hectads (10 x 10 km grid cells) in which each occurs in Great Britain (data.nbn.org.uk). Species finally banned

from sale are highlighted in by black bars with the exception of

Ludwigia grandiflora which is present in < 1% of hectads

Therefore, while it is crucial to monitor and evaluate the performance

of codes of conduct, and to ensure public disclosure, these actions

have never been included in voluntary codes of conduct for the orna

-mental nursery industry. As there are no means of assessing how well

the codes work, there is seldom sufficient market incentive or social

leverage to adopt voluntary codes of conduct. As a result of these li

m-itations, the uptake of voluntary codes of conduct is generally poor

in the ornamental nursery industry (Burt et al., 2007; Hulme, 2015b).

In addition, voluntary codes of conduct need to be supported by

evidence-based and independent advice regarding which plant spe-cies currently on the global market are potentially invasive in a par

-ticular region, so as to prevent their import, distribution and sale. This

requires risk assessments of many hundreds of species. Who should

pay for this? While risk assessment costs might be funded through

an industry levy, the industry can be resistant to such additional costs

(Barbier et al., 2013). Furthermore, unless an importer has exclusive

rights to the sale and distribution of a plant taxon there is no incentive for them to invest in costly risk assessment when their competitors

would also benefit from the introduction without any financial outlay.

Consequently, whether the cost of weed risk assessment is borne

by industry (as in New Zealand) or by government (as in Australia), it has a major influence on the deliberate introduction of alien species

by industry. Since the late 1990s, New Zealand has approved fewer

than 100 plant species for cultivation (EPA 2017), while over the same

period more than 1,500 alien species have been permitted entry into

Australia (Riddle, Porritt, & Reading, 2008). While other models of funding exist, such as through NGOs (PiantRight 2017), the contrast

between New Zealand and Australia suggests that when the cost of

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(a) Pre border policy integration

~

I

Uncertain

I

1

(b) Post-border policy Integration

~

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I

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Spedes widespread Spedes localised

FIGURE 4 Schematic representation of how different policy

instruments can be integrated for different categories of plant species screened following weed risk assessment either (a) pre

-border or (b) post--border

While the important role of government, industry and the public in stemming the threat from invasive alien plants is well recognized, there has been little guidance to date as to how actions appropriate for each stakeholder could be better coordinated and more complementary. The foregoing scheme (Figure 4) proposes a clearer mechanism for i ntegra-tion but its delivery will require the development of closer partnerships between government, NGOs and industry, perhaps through a joint body that oversees the outcomes of independent weed risk assessment, ad-vances the effectiveness of codes of conduct, informs priorities for sales bans, endorses appropriate labelling and promotes consumer education.

Closing the plant invasion pathway associated with ornamental horticul-ture requires government-industry agreements to fund effective pre-and post-border weed risk assessments that can be subsequently supported by widely adopted, as well as verifiable, industry codes of conduct This will ensure that producers and consumers make informed choices in the face of better targeted public education addressing plant invasions.

97

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Research was supported by COST Action TD1209 "Alien Challenge". The authors are grateful to John David and Franziska Humair for valu-able discussions on this topic. P.P. and J.P. were supported by project no.

14-36079G Centre of Excellence PLADIAS (Czech Science Foundation) and RVO 67985939 (The Czech Academy of Sciences). F.E., S.D., M.C. and M.v.K. were supported by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA through the Austrian Science Fund, German Research Foundation and French National Research Agency. AN. was supported by the Working for Water fM/fW) Programme and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. H.S. acknowledges support by the DFG (grant SE 1891/2-1).

AUTHORS' CONTRIBUTIONS

P.E.H. conceived the ideas and led the writing of the manuscript. All authors contributed critically to the drafts and gave final approval for publication.

DATA ACCESSIBILITY

Data have not been archived because all data presented are in the public domain. See Barney (2014), Harris et al. (2009), Weber (2003).

More detail available in Figure legends.

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