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Title: Lutte biologique pour l’agriculture et l’environnement américains Biological Control for American Agriculture and the Environment]

item SMITH, LINCOLN - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)

Submitted to: Review Article
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2014
Publication Date: 2/6/2015
Citation: Smith, L. 2015. Lutte biologique pour l’agriculture et l’environnement américains [Biological Control for American Agriculture and the Environment]. Les Dossiers d'Agropolis International, Agropolis International, Montpellier, France, p. 62.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL), located on the Agropolis Campus, is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct research on biological control of invasive arthropods and plants. Many of the target species originated in Europe, Asia or Africa, so we explore this region for prospective biological control agents to use in the USA. The geographic distribution and degree of invasiveness of each of these target species is affected by a variety of environmental conditions, including season patterns of precipitation and temperature. So, changing global climatic conditions can affect the invasiveness of these species, and it can also affect the effectiveness of their biological control agents. Climatic changes in the Eastern Hemisphere can likewise affect the distribution of the target plants and arthropods in their "native" range, which is important for us to understand so that we can find well-adapted effective biological control agents. Geographically based climatic analysis is typically done early in each project: 1) to evaluate the known and projected distribution of the target in the USA, and 2) to select regions in Eurasia to explore to find well-adapted biological control agents. Plants that we are currently studying include giant reed (Arundo donax), yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), French broom (Genista monspessulana), Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and Ventenata grass (Ventenata dubia). Invasive insects include Asian and citrus longhorned beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis, A. chinensis), olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae), stink bugs (Bagrada hilaris, Halyomorpha halys), Lygus bugs (Lygus spp.) and cattle fever tick (Rhipicephalus annulatus). Research is also being conducted at our field station at Thessaloniki Greece on the effect of climate on mosquito populations, including the Asia tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the transmission of West Nile Virus.