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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Book Chaper: Biological Control of Weeds in the United States and Canada; in Luken & Thieret (EDS.), Assessment and Management of Plant Invasions, Springer-Verlag

item Deloach Jr, Culver

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 31, 1996
Publication Date: N/A


Technical Abstract: Biological control (the introduction of host-specific foreign insects or plant pathogens) has been used to control over 118 species of exotic invasive weeds in 51 countries during the past 130 years. Since 1902 in Hawaii, 71 species of insects and 1 plant fungus have been released against 21 species of weeds, of which 9 species were completely or substantially controlled. Since 1945, 67 species of non-indigenous arthropods (mostly insects) have been released in the United States and 54 in Canada (18 of them in Canada only) to control 35 species of exotic weeds. Ten of the weed species have been completely or substantially controlled, three have been partly controlled and several others probably will soon be controlled. The philosophy, research protocol and safety regulations are now well developed. The objective of biological control is to reduce weed populations below an economic or environmental threshold of damage. Biological control has never eradicated a target weed or harmed endangered or rare species, nor has it caused other environmental harm. It has frequently increased biodiversity and improved environmental health. All former and ongoing projects (for which natural enemies have been released) are reviewed and the potential for controlling additional invasive weeds is discussed.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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