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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE WEEDS IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research

Title: Prospective Biological Control Agents for Yellow Starthistle.

Authors
item Smith, Lincoln
item Christofaro, Massimo - ENEA C.R. CASACCIA
item Dolgovskaya, Margarita - ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
item Tronci, Carlo - BIOTECH & BIOCON CONT.
item Hayat, Rustem - ATATURK UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Western Society of Weed Science Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2005
Publication Date: March 14, 2006
Citation: Smith, L., Christofaro, M., Dolgovskaya, M.Y., Tronci, C., Hayat, R. 2006. Prospective biological control agents for yellow starthistle. Western Society of Weed Science Meeting Proceedings, March 14-16, 2006, Sparks, NV pp.

Interpretive Summary: Yellow starthistle is an important alien weed that has invaded 20 million acres in the western U.S. Yellow starthistle is spiny plant that interferes with grazing livestock and outdoors recreation, it is fatally poisonous to horses, and it outcompetes desirable vegetation. Previously released agents appear to be having insufficient impact to control the weed, except in Oregon at low elevation sites with vigorous grass communities. European collaborators have discovered new prospective biological control agents in the Mediterranean region and southern former U.S.S.R, in the plant's native range. We have evaluated several prospective new agents and have requested permission to introduce one of them. These new biological control agents should help reduce the populations of these two weeds to innocuous levels over extensive regions. Successful biological control will provide self-perpetuating long-term management of these weeds, reduce the need to apply pesticides, and increase the productivity and utility of millions of acres in the western U.S.

Technical Abstract: Yellow starthistle is an important alien weed that has invaded 20 million acres in the western U.S. Yellow starthistle is spiny plant that interferes with grazing livestock and outdoors recreation, it is fatally poisonous to horses, and it outcompetes desirable vegetation. Previously released agents appear to be having insufficient impact to control the weed, except in Oregon at low elevation sites with vigorous grass communities. European collaborators have discovered new prospective biological control agents in the Mediterranean region and southern former U.S.S.R, in the plant's native range. We have evaluated several prospective new agents and have requested permission to introduce one of them. These new biological control agents should help reduce the populations of these two weeds to innocuous levels over extensive regions. Successful biological control will provide self-perpetuating long-term management of these weeds, reduce the need to apply pesticides, and increase the productivity and utility of millions of acres in the western U.S.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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