Action: Parrot’s feather: Reduction of trade through legislation and codes of conduct
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One randomized, before-and-after trial in the Netherlands reported that the implementation of a code of conduct reduced the trade of aquatic plants banned from sale (group that included parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum).
- One study in the USA found that parrot’s feather plants were still traded despite a state-wise trade ban.
Trade acts as the most important introduction pathway for the entry of invasive aquatic plants (Brunel 2009; Hussner et al. 2014). Legislation and voluntary codes of conduct (Verbrugge et al. 2014) can help to prevent new introductions and further spread of introduced invasive aquatic plants such as parrot’s feather, and thus lessen current and future impacts and associated management costs. Preventive management of parrot’s feather by education programmes is discussed under ‘Public education’.
Brunel S. (2009) Pathway analysis: aquatic plants imported in 10 EPPO countries. EPPO Bulletin 39, 201–213.
Hussner A., Nehring S. & Hilt S., (2014) From first reports to successful control: a plea for improved management of alien aquatic plant species in Germany. Hydrobiologia 737, 321–331.
Verbrugge L.N.H., Leuven R.S.E.W., Van Valkenburg J.L.C.H. & van den Born R. (2014) Evaluating stakeholder awareness and involvement in risk prevention of aquatic invasive plant species by a national code of conduct. Aquatic Invasions, 9, 369–381.
Hussner A., Stiers I., Verhofstad M.J.J.M., Bakker E.S., Grutters B.M.C., Haury J., van Valkenburg J.L.C.H., Brundu G., Newman J., Clayton J.S. & Anderson L.W.J. (2017) Management and control methods of invasive alien freshwater aquatic plants: A review. Aquatic Botany, 136, 112-137.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study between 2008 and 2010 in Connecticut, USA (June-Wells et al. 2012) reported that banning the trade of parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum did not eliminate the trade in the species. After a state-wide trade ban, parrot’s feather was available for sale in two out of 23 stores surveyed in 2008 (9%) and in one out of 47 stores surveyed in 2010 (2%). Additionally, in 2010, five stores sold a Myriophyllum species that could not be identified through morphological or molecular techniques. Nearly 30% of the stores surveyed sold aquatic plants banned in the state of Connecticut. At each store, authors purchased any aquatic plants that morphologically resembled a species banned in Connecticut. The species of the specimens purchased was identified morphologically and through DNA sequencing. Authors did not present the date of the trade ban.
A replicated, randomized, before-and-after trial between 2010 and 2012 in the Netherlands (Verbrugge et al. 2014) reported that the implementation of a code of conduct reduced the trade of aquatic plants banned from sale (group that included parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum). The number of batches of banned species found per store visited was higher in 2010 (prior to the implementation of the code of conduct; 0.72 batches/store visited), than in 2011 and 2012 (after the implementation of the code of conduct; 0.03 batches/store visited). Results were not subject to statistical tests. Number of addresses selling aquatic plants visited was 133 in 2010, 107 in 2011 and 76 in 2012. In addition to parrot’s feathers, species banned in the Netherland and counted during the study included Crassula helmsii, esthwaite waterweed Hydrilla verticillata, floaring pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora, creeping water-primrose Ludwigia peploides and variable-leaf watermilfoil Myriophyllum heterophyllum. The code of conduct aimed to reduce the introduction and spread of invasive aquatic plants and was developed in partnership between the government and the horticulture sector.
- June-Wells M., Vossbrinck C.R., Gibbons J. & Bugbee G. (2012) The aquarium trade: a potential risk for nonnative plant introductions in Connecticut, USA. Lake and Reservoir Management, 28, 200-205
- Verbrugge L.N., Leuven R.S., Van Valkenburg J.L. & van den Born R.J. (2014) Evaluating stakeholder awareness and involvement in risk prevention of aquatic invasive plant species by a national code of conduct. Aquatic Invasions, 9, 369-381