Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research
Title: Additional information regarding host specificity of Aceria salsolae Author
Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2008
Publication Date: February 13, 2008
Citation: Smith, L. 2008. Additional information regarding host specificity of Aceria salsolae. Government Publication/Report. Technical Abstract: The petition submitted to USDA-APHIS Technical Advisory Group on Dec. 16, 2004 (No. 04-06) indicated that the eriophyid mite, Aceria salsolae, will infest all the weedy Salsola species (Russian thistle; tumbleweeds) in the Salsola kali section (S. tragus, S. collina, S. paulsenii, S. australis (=type B)). Very small numbers of mites were found on Suaeda moquinii, Salsola soda and Gomphrena globosa. In subsequent laboratory experiments we have observed that this mite can sometimes multiply on Bassia hyssopifolia and Bassia (=Kochia) scoparia. These are both European plants whose geographic range overlaps that of the mite, but the mite has never been observed on them in the field. Therefore, we suspected that these laboratory results over-estimate the risk of attack to these plants under natural conditions. A field experiment conducted in Italy showed that this mite does not attain significant populations on these nontarget plants nor do they cause any damage. The most likely explanations for development on these plants in the laboratory are: 1) plants sheltered from the elements are not as resistant to mites, 2) predators present in the field kill the mites on these plants because there are no suitable places to hide, and/or 3) absence of wind in the laboratory prevents the mites from dispersing away from the plant. Further laboratory experiments showed that when mites occur on B. hyssopifolia and B. scoparia they do not affect plant growth. These results indicate that this mite does not present a risk to any nontarget plants.