Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Research Project #441126

Research Project: Prioritizing Weed Targets for Biological Control: Testing a South African Model for Western USA

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Project Number: 2030-22300-032-028-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 1, 2026

Develop collaborative research efforts on weed prioritization for exotic plants in the western USA to determine best targets for weed biological control.

The USDA Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit will conduct research with collaborator at MIA Consulting to rank invasive alien plants objectively using a transparent process. Following previously published methods developed by South African colleagues as much as possible, MIA will first compile a comprehensive list of all invasive alien plants deemed invasive in the western USA. For each species, the team will then utilize available data to determine: 1. Threat or impact, 2. Geographic distribution, 3. Alternative control options, 4. Conflicts of interest, 5. Likelihood of achieving success with biological control. Factor 5 is dependent on: a. Biocontrol programs determined successful elsewhere, b. Ecosystem (including cultivation), c. Reproductive system, and d. Life cycle. 6. Investment required, which is dependent on: a. Uncertainty of plant origin or taxonomy, b. Information on natural enemies, c. Sourcing agents, d. Potential to find host specific agents. Specifically, MIA Consulting will be responsible for collecting all available data, reviewing the pertinent peer-reviewed literature, assigning draft attributes, and compiling all information and results into one consolidated database.