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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6629-22000-009-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 28, 2004
End Date: Oct 19, 2009

Objective:
The environmentally safe, sustainable suppression of exotic invasive species which threaten natural agricultural and urban ecosystems in the US with an emphasis on weeds. To achieve this goal we will address the following areas: prioritizing and evaluating suitable target species for control; conducting surveys to discover natural enemies; studying the ecology of target species and determining the impact of their suppression on ecosystems; conducting risk analysis of potential biological control organisms; and releasing, establishing, evaluating, and transferring biological control agents against target species.

Approach:
Survey foreign nations for potential biolgical control agents, determine host-specificity of candidate species, release approved agents into natural and agricultural ecosystems, and evaluate influence of agents on target weed and non-target species population dynamics. Study molecular genetic target weeds. Study their roles as insect feeding attractants/deterrents, effects on biological control agents' nutritional and reproductive physiology, and possible use in host-specificity protocols. Study biological control agents' impact on competition between target weeds and non-target native plants. Identify ways to incorporate biological control agents into IPM strategies. Survey water bodies in Connecticut for presence of troublesome aquatic weeds.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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