Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2010
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Julien, M., Sosa, A.J., Traversa, G., Van Klinken, R. 2012. Phyla canescens (Kunth) Greene-lippia. Book Chapter. In:Julien, M.; McFadyen, R.; Cullen,J. editors. Biological Control of Weeds in Australia. Australia: CSIRO Publishing. p.463-471.
Interpretive Summary: The weed lippia is originated from South America and invaded Australia about a hundred years ago. Now it is distributed in southeastern Australia especially in Murray Darling Basin. It threatens agricultural activities and biodiversity because it is fast growing, forming a dense carpet that impedes the growing of other plants such as pasture. In 2005 we initiated surveys in the native range, in southern South America, mainly in Argentina, looking for natural enemies of this weed. However, our surveys coincided with an extended drought that may have limited our collections. A leaf flea beetle is considered the most promising candidate for the biological control of lippia, and now is recommended to export to Australia to continue with more detailed studies. Other insects, a mite and pathogens are also considered. Unfortunately, this project ends this year due to lack of funds.
Lippia, Phyla canescens, from South America, is widespread in south eastern Australia especially in the Murray Darling Basin. It continues to spread and is increasing in density. Lippia is having very significant impacts on production and the environment. Surveys for potential biological control agents, both arthropods and pathogens, began in 2005 in Argentina and continued through the current summer of 2009/10. Most surveys were during an extended drought that may have limited collection of natural enemies. The leaf-feeding beetle Kuschelina bergi is recommended for importation to Australia for host specificity test. Four other insects, a mite and two fungi are under study in Argentina and a small group of other insects maybe considered in the future. Current project funding ends in June 2010 and the weed research funding crisis in Australian may cause the premature termination of the lippia biological control research.