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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Status and Impacts of the Melaleuca Biological Control Program

Author
item Silvers, Cressida

Submitted to: Wildland Weeds
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2003
Publication Date: April 20, 2004
Citation: Silvers, C.S. 2004. Status and impacts of the melaleuca biological control program. Wildland Weeds.

Interpretive Summary: Two insects, the melaleuca weevil Oxyops vitiosa and the melaleuca psyllid Boreioglycaspis melaleucae, have been introduced into Florida as biological control agents for the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Both have readily established and, with the assistance of redistribution programs, spread throughout melaleuca infested regions in the state. Post-release research indicates the melaleuca biological control program is accomplishing its objectives of slowing the spread of infestations and thereby reducing the risk of new invasions and of reinvasions in treated areas. Specifically, feeding damage by the two insects significantly reduces flower and seed production, leaf canopy, stand density, and survival and biomass of seedlings, saplings, and stump regrowth. Implications for land managers and property owners are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Two insects, the melaleuca weevil Oxyops vitiosa and the melaleuca psyllid Boreioglycaspis melaleucae, have been introduced into Florida as biological control agents for the invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Both have readily established and, with the assistance of redistribution programs, spread throughout melaleuca infested regions in the state. Post-release research indicates the melaleuca biological control program is accomplishing its objectives of slowing the spread of infestations and thereby reducing the risk of new invasions and of reinvasions in treated areas. Specifically, feeding damage by the two insects significantly reduces flower and seed production, leaf canopy, stand density, and survival and biomass of seedlings, saplings, and stump regrowth. Implications for land managers and property owners are discussed.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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