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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MODELING YELLOW STARTHISTLE BIOCONTROL

Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Complete statistical analysis on yellow starthistle field study. 2. Complete computer model parameterization. 3. Complete journal articles on joint research.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1. Field data collected during 2007 and 2008 will be statistically evaluated and summary graphics prepared. 2. Statistically significant biological parameters will be developed and incorporated into an existing hermes model of yellow starthistle growth. 3. Both field data on yellow starthistle growth and model development and application will be published in peer reviewed journals. Documents Grant with UC Santa Cruz.


3.Progress Report

A new grant was established with the University of California Santa Cruz to obtain assistance in implementing spatial models of biological control agent effectiveness. USDA-ARS has been developing component models of both yellow starthistle (YST) growth and development and also the impact of insect natural enemies that affect YST vigor and spread. The University of California has been working with the US Navy and others to generate spatially explicit weather predictions that will allow simulation of plant and insect dynamics across a one kilometer spatial grid over complex landscapes in Northern California. To date, preliminary simulations have been completed on a simplified plant growth model and a stage-specific insect model of Chaetorellia succinea, covering the entire Cache Creek watershed. This experimental area was selected due to its diverse terrain and variable weather conditions that occur across wide altitudinal gradients. Due to the complexity of both the computer simulation models and the spatially distributed weather data, these simulations are implemented on a parallel processing computer that is maintained by the University of California within the USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center. This agreement was established in support of Objectives 3 & 4 of the inhouse CRIS Project to help evaluate the effectiveness of previously released biological control agents for yellow starthistle management in the western United States.

This agreement with the University of California Santa Cruz was monitored by the ADODR through a series of site visits, email and telephone communications, and several on-site working meetings with the Principal Investigator.


Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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