Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research
Project Number: 2030-22000-024-02-R
Project Type: Reimbursable
Start Date: Jul 9, 2009
End Date: Jul 8, 2014
Will collect natural enemies of invasive weeds and evaluate host specificity under quarantine conditions. Will conduct field monitoring of released weed biological control agents. Will conduct research on revegetation of native species in riparian habitats such as Fall River, California.
New Natural enemies of weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil, Arundo & Yellow starthistle will be identified and collected through foreign exploration in countries of origin. For most of the target weeds of interest this will be done working with cooperators at USDA-ARS overseas laboratories, in Europe and China. Following location and proper taxonomic assessment, colonies of these beneficial natural enemies will be established and held under quarantine conditions. Environmental assessments will be written to support requests for field release of these natural enemies by ARS scientists. Once approved by USDA-APHIS & other regulatory groups, these agents will be field released and monitored to determine their establishment and impact on both target and non-target plants. A combination of field & laboratory experiments will be used to identify methods of establishing native species in areas where invasive weeds have been eliminated. The initial focus will be on seed physiology production & dispersal, & artificial seeding of beneficial species.