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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETICS OF HOST SPECIFICITY AND CLIMATIC ADAPTATION IN BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS INTRODUCED FOR CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS AND WEEDS Title: European buckthorn and Asian soybean aphid as components of an extensive invasional meltdown in North America

Authors
item Heimpel, George -
item Frelich, Lee -
item Landis, Douglas -
item Hopper, Keith
item Hoelmer, Kim
item Sezen, Zeynep -
item Asplen, Mark -
item Wu, Kongming -

Submitted to: Biological Invasions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2009
Publication Date: March 18, 2010
Repository URL: http://DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9736-5
Citation: Heimpel, G.E., Frelich, L.E., Landis, D.A., Hopper, K.R., Hoelmer, K.A., Sezen, Z., Asplen, M.K., Wu, K. 2010. European buckthorn and Asian soybean aphid as components of an extensive invasional meltdown in North America. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9736-5.

Interpretive Summary: The term invasional meltdown has been used to describe situations where a group of exotic species interact in ways that facilitate each other, thus increasing the likelihood of their establishment and the magnitude of their ecological impacts. In this paper, we consider the possibility of an extensive invasional meltdown occurring in central North America involving ten Eurasian species. The scenario begins with the interaction between the European earthworm and European buckthorn, an invasive shrub/tree. European buckthorn then served as the overwintering host for two important invasive crop pests, oat crown rust and soybean aphid. The spread of European buckthorn itself may have been aided by seed dispersal by the European Starling, and the presence of the European earthworm has likely facilitated the invasion an Asian predatory flatworm that specializes on earthworms. We discuss both the evidence for this multi-species invasional meltdown and potential implications of meltdown dynamics for invasive species management. The particular management issues that we discuss are (i) opportunities for managing multiple invasive species simultaneously by targeting facilitator species, and (ii) implications of meltdown dynamics on biological control introductions against the soybean aphid.

Technical Abstract: We consider the possibility of an extensive invasional meltdown occurring in central North America involving ten Eurasian species. The scenario begins with the potential co-facilitation between the European earthworm LUMBRICUS TERRESTRIS and European buckthorn, RHAMNUS CATHARTICA. European buckthorn then served as the overwintering host for two important invasive crop pests, oat crown rust, PUCCINEA CORONATA and the soybean aphid, APHIS GLYCINES. The spread of R. cathartica itself may have been aided by seed dispersal by the European Starling, STURNUS VULGARIS, and the presence of L. TERRESTRIS has likely facilitated the invasion of BIPALIUM ADVENTITIUM, an Asian predatory flatworm that specializes on earthworms. We discuss both the evidence for this multi-species invasional meltdown scenario and potential implications of meltdown dynamics for invasive species management. The particular management issues that we discuss are (i) opportunities for managing multiple invasive species simultaneously by targeting facilitator species, and (ii) implications of meltdown dynamics on biological control introductions against the soybean aphid.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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