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Keyword: biological control

Field demonstration of a semiochemical treatment that enhances Diorhabda carinulata biological control of Tamarix spp.

Publications Posted on: September 13, 2019
The northern tamarisk beetle Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers) was approved for release in the United States for classical biological control of a complex of invasive saltcedar species and their hybrids (Tamarix spp.). An aggregation pheromone used by D. carinulata to locate conspecifics is fundamental to colonization and reproductive success.

‘Chem herding’ to improve biological control of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in the Northern Rockies

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 08, 2019
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) refers to the complex of exotic invasive shrubs and trees (four species and their hybrids) now considered the third most prevalent woody riparian taxonomic group in the western United States. Defoliation by large multivoltine populations of the Northern tamarisk beetle Diorhabda carinulata has successfully reduced extensive saltcedar infestations in the southwestern United States. Behavioral manipulation of insects with semiochemicals such as aggregation pheromones can be used to intensify herbivory, even in the Northern Rockies where beetle population densities are inherently low, to the extent that the target weed species is negatively affected at a population level.

Twenty-five years after: Post-introduction association of Mecinus janthinus s.l. with invasive host toadflaxes Linaria vulgaris and Linaria dalmatica in North America

Publications Posted on: July 10, 2018
Linaria vulgaris, common or yellow toadflax, and Linaria dalmatica, Dalmatian toadflax (Plantaginaceae), are Eurasian perennial forbs invasive throughout temperate North America. These Linaria species have been the targets of classical biological control programmes in Canada and the USA since the 1960s.

Semiochemicals to enhance herbivory by Diorhabda carinulata aggregations in saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) infestations

Publications Posted on: April 12, 2018
BACKGROUND: Semiochemicals formonitoring, attracting or repelling pest and beneficial organisms are increasingly deployed in agricultural and forest systems for pest management. However, the use of aggregation pheromones and host-plant attractants for the express purpose of increasing the efficacy of classical biological control agents of weeds has not been widely reported.

The tortoise and the hare: Can the slow native plant win?

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 03, 2017
It has been suggested that exotic plants will be more successful than native plant species as a result of climate change. This is because exotics often exhibit stronger responses to disturbance, faster growth rates, and greater plasticity. In this study, we show that climate change can actually shift the balance in favor of natives when it creates conditions that favor the slower more "tortoise-like" strategies of some natives.

The tortoise and the hare: Reducing resource availability shifts competitive balance between plant species

Publications Posted on: April 14, 2017
Determining how changes in abiotic conditions influence community interactions is a fundamental challenge in ecology. Meeting this challenge is increasingly imperative in the Anthropocene where climate change and exotic species introductions alter abiotic context and biotic composition to reshuffle natural systems.

Assessing phenological synchrony between the Chinese sawfly, Cephus fumipennis, its egg-larval parasitoid, Collyria catoptron, and the North American sawfly, Cephus cinctus: Implications for biological control

Publications Posted on: January 10, 2017
Many pest and beneficial insects overwinter as larvae in a state of diapause, with development resuming in the spring. In these cases, rates of post-diapause development of parasitoids must be synchronised with the vulnerable life stages of their hosts. Phenological asynchrony between introduced parasitoids and their targeted hosts has limited the success of some biological control efforts.

Costs of induced defenses for the invasive plant houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) and the potential importance for weed biocontrol

Publications Posted on: September 28, 2016
Inducible plant defenses - those produced in response to herbivore feeding - are thought to have evolved as a cost-saving tactic that allows plants to enact defenses only when needed. The costs of defense can be significant, and loss of plant fitness due to commitment of resources to induced defenses could affect plant populations and play a role in determining the success or failure of weed biocontrol.

Biology and biological control of Dalmatian and yellow toadflax

Publications Posted on: August 30, 2016
Dalmatian toadflax, Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill., and yellow toadflax, Linaria vulgaris Mill., are exotic weeds of rangeland, grassland, forests, and cropland. Both Dalmatian and yellow toadflax are short-lived perennial forbs that are easily recognized by their yellow snapdragon- like flowers (Figure 1a, 1b).

The bane of weed management: Secondary invasions

FS News Posted on: August 03, 2016
Exotic plant invaders are global threats to ecosystems and millions of dollars are spent each year to fight invasions. A new study shows that current treatment methods could inadvertently promote a second invasion by exotic plants instead of desired native plants and negatively impact ecosystem restoration.

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