The Distribution and Problems of the Invasive Alien Plant, Mimosa diplotricha C. Wright ex Sauvalle (Mimosaceae) in Nigeria


Mimosa diplotricha is an invasive perennial, scrambling, thorny, leguminous shrub of neotropical origin widely acknowledged as a major economic, agricultural and ecological burden in its introduced ranges. Although the plant is thought to have been present in Nigeria for well over two decades, its mode and time of introduction is uncertain. In spite of the continuing spread of, and the menace caused by M. diplotricha in Nigeria, no attempt has been made to map the distribution of the plant countrywide. Therefore, we conducted a countrywide survey between 2007 and 2009, sponsored by the Weed Science Society of Nigeria (WSSN) to determine the spread and status of Mimosa diplotricha in Nigeria. A further objective of this paper was to review literatures on Mimosa diplotricha in Nigeria and elsewhere to enable comparison. In this paper, we report on the spread, distribution and problems of Mimosa diplotricha in Nigeria based on the field monitoring surveys conducted. The distribution of this invasive plant in Nigeria has been mapped and is presented together with its ecology and problems being caused. Since the early 1990s, the weed has started to spread and invade many parts of the country causing significant damage to many natural and semi natural ecosystems. The different control options used by farmers to control Mimosa diplotricha in Nigeria are discussed. Based on the successful control of this invasive plant using the biocontrol agent, Heteropsylla spinulosa in countries such as Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG), we discussed the biological control prospects for the management of Mimosa diplotricha in Nigeria. Such control attempts stands to benefit from international collaborations between Nigerian institutions and a host of others in Australia, PNG and/or Brazil. Finally three major causes for the massive and continuing spread of this weed in Nigeria are presented with recommendations for the Nigerian government and institutions to: 1) formulate policies and legislations regarding the control and management of invasive alien plant species which is currently nonexistent; 2) enlighten the general public on the dangers of invasive alien plant species such as Mimosa diplotricha; and 3) initiate actions such as early detection and rapid response (EDRR) and biological control in order to prevent further spread of, and invasion by invasive plant species including Mimosa diplotricha.

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F. Ekhator, O. Uyi, C. Ikuenobe and C. Okeke, "The Distribution and Problems of the Invasive Alien Plant, Mimosa diplotricha C. Wright ex Sauvalle (Mimosaceae) in Nigeria," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2013, pp. 866-877. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.44107.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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