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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Research Project #444351

Research Project: Synergies in Aquatic Plant Biological Control: Translating Research Between the Southern and Western USA

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Project Number: 2030-22300-032-035-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 1, 2027

To develop collaborative research efforts to determine the feasibility of translating research advances in weed biological control between two regions of the U.S.: Western and Southeastern states. We will test the suitability of transferring natural enemies (e.g. Niphograpta albiguttalis, Bagous lunatoides) between regions and compare efficacy of innundative biological control. This research will guide future experiments to disentangle climatic restraints to enhancing biological control efficacy across a plant's geographic range.

The USDA Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit will conduct research with collaborators at Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Department of Entomology, on a project to expand the efficacy of biological control in temperate systems where success has been observed in subtropical environments. This research will focus on: 1) investigating the water hyacinth moth Nyphograpta albiguttalis for release in California, 2) determining the suitability of the Limnobium weevil Bogous lunatoides for introduction in California, 3) assessing the efficacy of mass rearing and innundatively releasing the flea beetle Altica litigata for control of exotic Ludwigia species. Research will include field surveys for the herbivores of interest, species identifications, colonization and rearing, testing climatic suitability, and host range testing. Additional research may include selective breeding to improve climatic suitability.