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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #444437

Research Project: Investigating Impacts on Community Restoration: The Role of Biological Control Herbivores

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-013-115-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Objective:
1. Establish cooperative agreement to support one graduate student to investigate the interactions, community effects, and other foundational questions regarding biological control herbivores and community impacts. 2. The student will work with USDA to design experiments and be part of the team to implement the experimental design. 3. The student will present any findings in written reports, refereed articles and scientific meetings.

Approach:
Much is still open for investigation after the introduction of non-native herbivores to control invasive weeds. Their interspecific interactions, interactions with the community, and direct and indirect effects on the target and weed and the community still remain largely up for debate especially regarding mechanisms. This research is critically important for understanding how communities respond to these herbivores, and operationally, how they can be restored to better ecological function after the establishment. We aim to help inform longer term biological control and restoration studies by asking more fundamental questions about the interspecific interactions within one or two invasive weed systems.