Andrew Turner, Dr.

South Africa
BII expert in: Amphibians and reptiles

I am interested in biodiversity in its broadest sense and how it evolves. I have a particular fondness for amphibians and reptiles (including birds) and their conservation and have recently been concentrating my efforts on the threats posed to Western Cape biodiversity by invasive alien species and altered fire regimes.

In the Western Cape Province of South Africa there has been a serious invasion of the catchment areas of human introduced invasive alien pines and other tree species which increases shade relative to indigenous vegetation (not good for most reptiles), outcompetes indigenous vegetation (which directly reduces plant diversity and negatively affects the animals which are adapted to the indigenous vegetation), increases fuel load during fires which can lead to hotter an longer-burning fires which again affects plants and animals negatively and finally seriously reduces surface water runoff which is bad for biodiversity and people living in water-stressed area.

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