Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research
Project Number: 8010-22000-023-00-D
Project Type: Appropriated
Start Date: Oct 19, 2010
End Date: Jul 1, 2015
This project seeks to reduce populations of EAB without adverse effects on the environment via biological control approaches relevant to the knowledge base of the target pest and its natural enemies, and has three objectives representing different aspects and/or stages of classical biological control research and development: 1: Explore for natural enemies (parasitoids) of EAB in its native range and evaluate their suitability for introduction. 1a - Explore for parasitoids of EAB in its native range. 1b - Evaluate the suitability of discovered parasitoid for introduction to North America for EAB control. 2: Evaluate impacts of extant (indigenous) and previously introduced parasitoids on populations of EAB, particularly in northeastern and/or Midwestern states. 3: Develop effective mass rearing technologies for hymenopteran parasitoids of EAB and other invasive pests. 3a - Determine the key life history parameters of the concerned parasitoid species. 3b - Determine the optimal host stage and host density (or host to parasitoid exposure ratio). 3c - Determine the optimal environmental conditions for adult parasitoid survival, oviposition, and progeny development.
We will conduct foreign exploration for parasitoids of EAB in its native range including the Far East region of Russia, Korea, and China. In each of the study areas, five to 10 sites will be selected for EAB parasitoid exploration covering a wide range of habitats including upland and riparian natural forests with Oriental Fraxinus spp. and plantations of both North American and Oriental Fraxinus spp. At each selected site, ash trees will be examined for signs of EAB infestation in late summer, fall, and/or spring. Ash trees exhibiting any signs of infestation will then be felled, and debarked for sampling different immature stages of EAB and associated parasitoids. Promising parasitoid species collected from the foreign exploration will then be tested in quarantine against a list of North American Native wood-boring beetles to determine their host specificity. After completing host range studies, we will develop an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of proposed releases of the promising parasitoids, which will be selected based on their efficacy against EAB in the native range (Asia) and host specificity against North American native (nontarget) wood boring beetles, and submit the EIA to USDA APHIS (or other regulatory authorities) for review and approval. Once the selected candidate species are cleared for release by Federal and State regulatory authorities, efforts will be directed towards field release and establishment along with development of mass-rearing technologies and impact assessment.