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ARS Home » Crop Production and Protection » Research » Research Project #421901


Location: Crop Production and Protection

Project Number: 0206-22000-001-35-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

The goal of the program is to determine if biological control is effective in reducing carrizo cane density and thereby increasing visibility of the border to a degree that meets the operational needs of the Border Patrol.

Arundo donax L., carrizo cane, giant reed is an exotic and invasive weed of riparian habitats and irrigation canals of the Rio Grande River Basin and the southwestern U.S. Carrizo cane dominates these habitats, which leads to: loss of biodiversity; catastrophic stream bank erosion; damage to bridges; increased costs for chemical and mechanical control along transportation corridors, and impediment of law enforcement activities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, this invasive weed competes for water resources in an arid region where these resources are critical to the environment, agriculture and municipal users. Biological control using insects from the native range of carrizo cane may be the best option for long-term management of this weed. Arundo donax is a good target for biological control because it has no close relatives in North or South America, and because several of the plant-feeding insects from its native range in Mediterranean Europe are known to be specialists, feeding only on this one plant species. The approach will include: (1) Evaluate Biocontrol Effectiveness ; (2)Foreign Insect Collection; (3) Biological Agent Production; (4) Mass Releases; (5) Evaluate and Rear other Biological Agents