Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF WEEDS ON WESTERN RANGELAND WATERSHEDS

Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research

Title: Biocontrol of tamarisk in the western United States: an event underway with significant ecological and societal implications

Authors
item Hultine, K - DEPT BIOLOGY, UNIV UTAH
item Belnap, J - USGS, CRS, SW BIOL. SCI.
item Dennison, P - DEPT. GEOGR, UNIV. OF UT
item Ehleringer, J - DEPT. BIOL., UNIV. OF UT
item Lee, M - DEPT. WILDLAND REC. NAU
item Nagler, P - USGS, SW BIOL. CTR., AZ
item Snyder, Keirith
item Uselman, Shauna
item Van Riper, C - USGS, SW BIOL. CTR., AZ
item West, J - DEPT. ECOSYS SCI, TX A&M

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2008
Publication Date: February 18, 2009
Citation: Hultine, K.R., Belnap, J., Dennison, P.E., Ehleringer, J.R., Lee, M.E., Nagler, P.L., Snyder, K.A., Uselman, S.M., Van Riper, C., West, J.B. 2009. Biocontrol of tamarisk in the western United States: an event underway with significant ecological and societal implications [abstract]. In: 2009 Tamarisk and Russian Olive Research Conference, Reno, Nevada. p. 16.

Technical Abstract: Tamarisk (Tamarix) species are among the most successful and economically costly plant invaders in the western United States. Accordingly, local, state and federal agencies have undertaken considerable efforts to eradicate tamarisk and restore riparian habitats to pre-invasion status. Traditional eradication methods, including herbicide treatments are now considered undesirable because they are costly and have unintended negative impacts on native species. A new biological control, the saltcedar leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata, has been released along many watersheds in the western United States to reduce the spread, if not eradicate, tamarisk. However, there are many ecological, hydrological, and socio-economic consequences of tamarisk control that should be considered by land managers and stakeholders. Here, we review the possible ramifications of tamarisk control via the salt cedar leaf beetle including impacts on large-scale evapotranspiration fluxes, invasions by other plant species, avian habitat quality, and nitrogen and carbon cycling of riparian ecosystems. We also review potential social impacts and present recommendations to reduce the possible negative impacts on valued riparian systems in the western United States.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page