Location: European Biological Control Laboratory2011 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The ARS-EBCL will provide research for collection, screening, rearing, and obtain approval for the introduction and release of biological weed control agents for use on BLM administered lands. ARS-EBCL will also provide biological weed control agents to Agricultural Research Service stations in the United States and various Universities for future release of biological weed control agents for the BLM.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
ARS will collect, identify, and provide initial research to provide biological weed control agents (insects and plant pathogens) for weed species that infest BLM administered lands on leafy spurge, knapweed complex, Russian knapweed, field bindweed, Canada thistle, tamarisk (saltcedar), yellow starthistle, Dyers woad, musk thistle, Scotch thistle, hoary cress, perennial pepperweed, Dalmation and common toadflex. ARS staff will continue to work with John Simons, BLM Invasive Species Coordinator and other BLM personnel on biological weed control efforts.
3. Progress Report
This incoming agreement was established with the Bureau of Land Management to support research on various invasive Eurasian weeds that impact U.S. rangelands. Research on medusahead rye included foreign exploration in Eurasia that resulted in collection of seed feeding flies and several pathogens. Field experiments were set up in Turkey to evaluate the impact of these flies on medusahead and related grass and are in progress. A cooperative experiment (with ARS Reno NV) to evaluate seed predation on medusahead is in progress in France. Allozyme diversity was compared (with Boise State Univ., ID) in samples from native and introduced invasive populations of medusahead in an attempt to identify the source populations and narrow the search for targeted biological control agents. Initial results support the idea that multiple introductions have occurred from different regions of Europe, suggesting that agents from different parts of the native range may be needed to address the specificity required for each population of grass. A field experiment to study the epidemiology and impact of a Puccinia rust on Canada thistle is ongoing. We also continued ongoing research to provide analyses of hoary cress and its herbivorous agent,(with ARS, Sidney MT) and molecular analyses to barcode other weed target agents. Preparations for research on the visual ecology of herbivorous agents of invasive weeds were also made and the necessary equipment obtained during this period. Reference to this agreement can be found in the report for the parent project 0212-22000-23-00D, DISCOVERY AND EVALUATION OF CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE EURASIAN WEEDS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL AREAS.