Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Groundbreaking Held for New Invasive Plant Quarantine Facility / April 22, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
ARS News and Information Search News and Info Science for Kids Image Gallery Agricultural Research Magazine Publications and Newsletters News Archive News and Info home ARS News and Information
Latest news | Subscribe

 

Groundbreaking for New Invasive Plant Quarantine Facility

By Alfredo Flores
April 22, 2002

Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled today in Florida for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture Invasive Plant Research Facility that will help scientists continue their research to stop melaleuca and other invasive weeds that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive areas.

The new facility in Davie, Florida, to be operated by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, is scheduled to open in February 2003. ARS is USDA’s chief scientific research agency.

One of the most serious non-native weeds to be studied in the quarantine lab is melaleuca. Originally from Australia, melaleuca was introduced in Florida in the mid-1880s. Since then, it has quickly spread throughout south Florida, displacing native plant and animal communities, drying up wetlands, creating fire hazards and threatening the stability of the Everglades ecosystem.

USDA is currently directing studies of the melaleuca psyllid (Boreioglycaspis melaleucae), a tiny insect that may help to control or eradicate melaleuca. These insects feed on melaleuca’s clear sap, severely damaging the invasive plant’s seedlings. Lack of quarantine space for rearing such biological control agents has impeded research and testing in the past.

In 2001, the Department of the Interior provided $6.2 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of the new quarantine facility. It will be located at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie.

Top | News Staff | Photo Staff

E-mail the web team Privacy and other policies Site map About ARS Information Staff Bottom menu

Home | News | Pubs | Magazine | Photos | Sci4Kids | Search
About ARS Info | Site map | Policies | E-mail us

Last Modified: 4/22/2002
Footer Content Back to Top of Page