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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY, IDENTIFICATION AND RISK-ASSESSMENT OF BIOCONTROL AGENTS FOR SUPPRESSION OF SOUTH AMERICAN INVASIVE WEEDS AND INSECTS IN THE U.S. Title: The initiation of a biological control programme against pompom weed Campuloclinium macrocephalum (LESS.)DC (Asteraceae)in South Africa

Authors
item Mcconnachie, Andrew -
item Retief, E. -
item Henderson, L. -
item Mc Kay, Fernando -

Submitted to: African Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2011
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Citation: Mcconnachie, A., Retief, E., Henderson, L., Mc Kay, F. 2011. The initiation of a biological control programme against pompom weed Campuloclinium macrocephalum (LESS.)DC (Asteraceae)in South Africa. African Entomology. 19(2):258-268.

Interpretive Summary: Pompom weed is a South American invasive that was first recorded in South Africa in the early 1960s. In the 1980s, pompom weed started slowly extending its range and in the 1990s and 2000s it entered a dramatic expansion phase. It invades grasslands, savannas and wetlands where it has a significant impact on biological diversity. Methods for the control of pompom weed have so far focussed on herbicides, as mechanical approaches were found to exacerbate infestations through disturbance. However, due to the extent of invasion, the financial and environmental costs of treating all pompom weed infestations with herbicides would be prohibitive. As a result, a biological control programme was initiated against the weed in 2003. Surveys conducted on pompom weed in its native range, suggest that northern Argentina has the highest diversity of natural enemies associated with the plant. Three insect species, a stem-boring beetle, a thrips, a flower-feeding moth, and one rust fungus, were rated (based on damage, range and abundance) as having the most potential as biological control agents for pompom weed. In this review, we report on the biology, host range and potential impacts of these agents as well as the prospects for successful control of pompom weed.

Technical Abstract: Pompom weed, Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Less.) DC. (Asteraceae), is a South American invasive that was first recorded in South Africa in the early 1960s. In the 1980s, C. macrocephalum started slowly extending its range and in the 1990s and 2000s it entered a dramatic expansion phase. It invades grasslands, savannas and wetlands where it has a significant impact on biological diversity. Methods for the control of pompom weed have so far focussed on herbicides, as mechanical approaches were found to exacerbate infestations through disturbance. However, due to the extent of invasion, the financial and environmental costs of treating all C. macrocephalum infestations with herbicides would be prohibitive. As a result, a biological control programme was initiated against the weed in 2003. Surveys conducted on C. macrocephalum in its native range, suggest that northern Argentina has the highest diversity of natural enemies associated with the plant. Three insect species, Zeale (=Adesmus) nigromaculatus Klug (Cerambycidae), Liothrips tractabilis Mound & Pereyra (Thripidae) and Cochylis campuloclinium Brown (Tortricidae), and one pathogen, Puccinia eupatorii Dietel (Pucciniaceae) were rated (based on damage, range and abundance) as having the most potential as biological control agents for pompom weed. In this review, we report on the biology, host range and potential impacts of these agents as well as the prospects for successful control of C. macrocephalum.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014