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Efficacy of flea beetle control of leafy spurge in Montana and South Dakota

Posted date: July 19, 2007
Publication Year: 
2006
Authors: Butler, Jack L.; Parker, Matthew S.; Murphy, John T.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Rangeland Ecology and Management. 59: 453-461.

Abstract

Black (Aphthona lacertosa and Aphthona czwalinae) and brown (Aphthona nigriscutis) flea beetles are among the more successful biological control agents used in the control and management of leafy spurge on a relatively large scale in the Northern Great Plains. The objectives of this study were to document leafy spurge population dynamics in response to control by black and brown flea beetles, determine the role of selected site characteristics on establishment and persistence of the beetles, and evaluate the general response of the resident vegetation to control of leafy spurge. In late June 1998, about 3 000 insects of each species were released into permanently marked plots in northwestern South Dakota and southeastern Montana. Beetle abundance, density and foliar cover of leafy spurge, and foliar cover of the resident vegetation were evaluated each year from 1998 through 2004. Black beetles increased rapidly and peaked at 65% of their measurable potential abundance within 2 years (P

Citation

Butler, Jack L.; Parker, Matthew S.; Murphy, John T. 2006. Efficacy of flea beetle control of leafy spurge in Montana and South Dakota. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 59: 453-461.