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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #435910

Research Project: Biological Control of Old World Climbing Fern

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-013-039-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

1. Complete multi-generational testing of the sawfly Neostrombocerus albicomus with Lygodium volubile and Lygodium oligostachyum. If the sawfly is unable to sustain a population on the non-target species, complete host-range testing and prepare a petition for release to submit to the Technical Advisory Group for Biological Control Agents of Weeds (TAG) for Neostrombocerus albicomus. 2. Complete host specificity tests, multigenerational testing, and processing of cold tolerance testing data of Lygomusotima stria. Work with a collaborator to us the climate modeling software CLIMEX to generate maps of the potential range of Lygomusotima stria for comparison with the range of the North American native Lygodium palmatum. Prepare TAG petition if results indicate limited or no risk to Lygodium palmatum. 3. Continue efforts to colonize the Hong Kong stem borer Siamusotima disrupta and increase the size of the colony of the Bamaga stem borer (Lygomusotima sp.). Continue experiments to refine rearing and explore host-specificity testing of the stem borers. 4. Survey for and collect Lygodium microphyllum herbivores, including new species, in Queensland (Cape York), the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Asia, and potentially New Caledonia. 5. Conduct host-range testing on the Callopistria species (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) from Hong Kong and Cape York, evaluate the diversity of Callopistria species present in the native range, and determine if any have potential as biological control agents.

Conduct overseas surveys and host-range testing to find and determine the safety of potential agents for biological control of Lygodium microphyllum.