Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2007
Publication Date: 4/22/2007
Citation: Williams III, L.H., Carruthers, R.I., Snyder, K.A., Longland, W.S. 2007. The past, present, and future of biologically-based weed management on rangeland watersheds in the western United States. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. p.44.
Technical Abstract: Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) are exotic, invasive perennials introduced into the western U.S.A. from Eurasia, and are among the most damaging weeds in western riparian habitats. Here we provide an update of Tamarix spp. control by Diorhabda elongata in the Intermountain West, and describe future research plans at the USDA-ARS Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit in Reno, Nevada, U.S.A. Our goal is to develop ecologically sustainable means of suppressing saltcedar and other exotic, invasive weeds of the region. We have adopted a “weed management pipeline” approach that integrates classical biological control with ecological studies aimed at maximizing the beneficial effects of biological control agents while minimizing their potential detrimental effects on the soil and native flora and fauna. This work includes use of hyperspectral imaging and other tools to characterize the spatio-temporal dispersal and impact of biological control agents on a region-wide, long-term scale. Other studies will address ecological interactions between biological control agents and their natural enemies, and the effect of plant-insect interactions on plant ecophysiology and hydrology. Successful control of a target weed usually requires decades of research; the proposed studies will be an important step towards ecologically-rational management of some of the most important weeds in the western U.S.A.