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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228033

Title: Alien invasive species and international trade

item Hoelmer, Kim

Submitted to: International Union Of Forestry Research Organization
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2008
Publication Date: 7/24/2008
Citation: Dix, Mary E., Hoelmer, K.A. 2008. Alien invasive species and international trade. In: Proceedings of the International Union of Forestry Research Organization. 2nd Meeting of IUFRO Unit, May 26-30, 2008, Shepherdstown, WV. 7.03.12.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Emergency control measures for invasive species often rely on use of pesticides and other destructive practices. Public concern about pesticide contamination of the ground water and the environment has lead to increased restrictions on the use of pesticides for control of many destructive invasive species. Biological control often provides a cost effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable solution. Both the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Forest Service (FS) have very active biological control programs to identify and expand the number of available biological control agents for key pests and weeds. The ARS biological control program addresses agricultural and other pests of regional and national importance including Aphis glycines (soybean aphid), Anoplophora glabripennis (Asian longhorned beetle), Euphorbia esula-virgata (leafy spurge), Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) and Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle). ARS has several Overseas Biological Control Research Laboratories (OBCLs), with cooperators located in many countries around the world. Scientists at these laboratories search for biological control agents in the host’s native range, study the basic biology and ecology of candidate agents, evaluate host specificity and ship the most promising agents to the U.S. ARS and collaborating scientists in the United States further evaluate these agents prior to their release. The OBCLs also facilitate international cooperation and collaboration on mutually beneficial high priority biological control research. Research at the OBCLs and at ARS laboratories in the United States led to the release of the Melaleuca weevil (Oxyops vitiosa) which caused massive reductions in Melaleuca quinquenervia in Florida. Natural enemies also were successfully released for gypsy moth, Tamarix ramosissima (tamarisk), Arundo (giant reed), Lygodium microphyllum (old world climbing fern) and numerous other pests. The Forest Service invasive species biological control research focuses on priority pest species in forest and rangelands such as Agrilus planipennis (emerald ash borer), Adelges tsugae (hemlock woolly adelgid), Chondrilla juncea (rush skeletonweed), Centaurea masculosa (spotted knapweed) and Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass). The program includes overseas evaluation and exploration as well as further development of mass rearing protocols prior to the natural enemy’s release. The success of the biological control program is based on the scientists’ close partnership with international, federal, state, university, tribal, state, local and nongovernmental organizations. Partnerships with Chinese scientists, APHIS, and state organizations have lead to the field release of three parasites of the emerald ash borer and several hemlock woolly adelgid predators. Partnerships between Forest Service scientists and the OBCLs have lead to the release of the release of many biological controls of invasive plants in the west.