Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research
Title: Saltcedar areawide pest management in the western United States Authors
Submitted to: CABI(Council of Applied Biology International, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2007
Publication Date: April 15, 2008
Citation: Carruthers, R.I., Deloach Jr, C.J., Herr, J.C., Anderson, G.L., Knutseon, A.E. 2008. Saltcedar areawide pest management in the western United States. In: Areawide Pest Management: Theory and Implementation. Koul, Cuperus, Elliott, editors. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Council of Applied Biology International (CABI). p. 271-299. Technical Abstract: Saltcedar is an exotic shrub that has invaded many riparian areas across western North America. In the absence of natural enemies and disease causing organisms, saltcedar grows very aggressively and is highly competitive with native vegetation, especially in areas where the natural hydrology has been altered limiting stream flow during spring months when native cottonwoods and willows are seeding. Therefore, many of the nation’s most productive and diverse ecological regions are being negatively affected by the invasion of this exotic invasive plant. Common methods used to control saltcedar include herbicide application, burning and bulldozing, all of which are expensive and highly detrimental to non-target flora and fauna. Although these approaches may be successful in the short run, they do not provide permanent control of the problem as the saltcedar often grows back or reinvades from surrounding areas. Over the past decade, biological control of saltcedar has been a major research effort within the USDA-ARS. In cooperation with ARS, a consortium of scientists and land managers has field tested the use of natural enemies to control saltcedar in several western states. A leaf beetle from Eurasia, Diorhabda elongata (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera), has now been successfully used at several locations, where it has established reproductive populations, increased dramatically in density and spread extensively across saltcedar infested areas where it has caused extensive defoliation of saltcedar for multiple seasons. In many of these test locations, the leaf beetles significantly impacted saltcedar growth and development, while no non-target plants have been negatively affected. To date, 10,000s of acres of saltcedar have been defoliated and many treated plants are now dying. In this paper, we have provide a summary of these test results.