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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326965

Research Project: Identification, Evaluation, and Implementation of Biological Control Agents for Invasive Weeds of Southeastern Ecosystems

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: The role of melaleuca control in Everglades restoration: accomplishments and future plans

item Lake, Ellen
item Pratt, Paul
item Dray, F Allen
item Rayamajhi, Min
item Wheeler, Gregory
item Smith, Melissa
item Minteer, Carey
item CENTER, TED - Retired ARS Employee
item RODGERS, LEROY - South Florida Water Management District
item LANE, JON - Us Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE)
item Tipping, Philip

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The invasive tree Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T. Blake, melaleuca, was first introduced to Florida in 1886 for ornamental use. It was later planted for bank stabilization and as a forestry crop. Melaleuca now invades a variety of habitats, changing the hydroperiod and fire regime, reducing plant diversity, and altering ecosystem structure and function. Three biological control agents have been released and established on melaleuca. These agents have reduced the reproductive capacity of the tree, which has accelerated self-thinning and increased native plant diversity. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is a multibillion dollar 30+ year effort to restore, preserve and protect this unique ecosystem. It includes restoring a more historic water flow pattern to the Everglades and reducing the impact of invasive species. Integrating biological control with other management techniques to control melaleuca, Old World climbing fern, waterhyacinth and Brazilian peppertree, and other invasives will be a critical component of restoring Everglades communities.