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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Identifying and Approving Biological Control Agents foreign Exploration. In: Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States, the Theory and Practice of Biological Control of Weeds.

Authors
item Purcell, Matthew - CSIRO-ENTOMOLOGY
item Goolsby, John
item Forno, Wendy - CSIRO-ENTOMOLOGY

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2004
Citation: Purcell, M., Goolsby, J., Forno, W. 2004 Foreign exploration. in: biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States, The Theory and Practice of Biological Control of Weeds. Eric M. Coombs, Janet K. Clark, Gary L. Piper, and Alfred F. Cofrancesco, Jr., eds. Oregon State Press, Corvallis, USA

Interpretive Summary: Many weeds are not native in the areas where they have become invasive. In their new environment very few of the native insects feed on them. This often allows them to produce more seeds, grow faster, etc. and become what we call 'weeds', because they out compete desirable crops or native vegetation. If the weed becomes widespread and damaging, biological control is often the best solution. Biological control of introduced weeds is based on the use of herbivores insects, mites and plant pathogens from the weed's native range to effect control. In the native range it is typical to find a large suite of herbivores and pathogens, called 'natural enemies'. In this setting, natural enemy species have had thousands or even millions of years to adapt to the plant. The job of the foreign explorer is to sift through the many natural enemies and find species with a narrow host ranges and strong potential to control the weed. This chapter describes the methods of foreign exploration for biological control agents of weeds.

Technical Abstract: Classical biological control of introduced weeds is based on the use of herbivores and pathogens from the weed's native range to effect control. In the native range it is typical to find a large suite of herbivores and pathogens, called 'natural enemies'. In this setting, natural enemy species have had thousands or even millions of years to adapt to the plant. The job of the foreign explorer is to sift through the many natural enemies and find species with a narrow host ranges and strong potential to control the weed. This chapter describes the methods of foreign exploration for biological control agents of weeds.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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