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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Ecological Interactions in Integrated and Biologically-Based Management of Invasive Plant Species in Western Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Integrated weed management approach to control saltcedar

Authors
item Clements, Darin
item Harmon, Daniel
item Young, James
item Knight, Jeff -

Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2013
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Citation: Clements, D.D., Harmon, D.N., Young, J.A., Knight, J. 2013. Integrated weed management approach to control saltcedar [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society International Meeting, Reno, NV, July 21-24, 2013. 68:119.

Technical Abstract: Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), native to Central Asia, is a shrub or small tree that has invaded more than 1.9 million hectares of habitat in southwestern and western United States. Saltcedar was brought to the United States in the early 1800s as an ornamental and later planted for windbreaks and stream bank stabilization, but ultimately negatively impacted native vegetation and wildlife. The USDA-Agricultural Research Service started investigating a number of potential control insects in the 1970’s to control saltcedar. Following the identification of the leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata), USDA was permitted to start field tests. The leaf beetle was brought to field cages in Nevada as well as five other states for testing in 1999. In 2001 the leaf beetle was released in an effort to biologically control saltcedar. Prior to the release in 2001, we marked 100 saltcedar trees at three release sites in northwestern Nevada to monitor vegetation changes over-time. The leaf beetle did not sufficiently populate at the Stillwater site, therefore, Lovelock and Walker sites will be reported. Measurements were taken the last week in May from 2001 through 2011. Previous reports suggest that following the release of the leaf beetle, defoliation of saltcedar tress is significant and that death of the tree can occur within 3-5 years. After measuring defoliation for a decade, complete defoliation (96-100%) reached a high of 54% in 2004 at the Lovelock site and a high of 18% at the Walker site in 2007. By 2011, complete defoliation was recorded at 41% and 14% for the Lovelock and Walker sites, respectfully. The use of heavy equipment and herbicides are most likely tools that will ultimately be used to control saltcedar.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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