DEVELOPMENT & EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES THREATENING THE EVERGLADES & OTHER NATURAL AND MANANGED SYSTEMS
Project Number: 6629-22000-010-00
Start Date: Oct 20, 2009
End Date: Oct 04, 2010
The environmentally safe, sustainable suppression of exotic invasive species which threaten natural agricultural and urban ecosystems in the U.S. 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.
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 nontarget 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.