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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360130

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

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Title: Importation Biological Control

Author
item HODDLE, MARK - University Of California
item Lake, Ellen
item MINTEER, CAREY - University Of Florida
item DAANE, KENT - University Of California

Submitted to: Biological Control: A Global Endeavour
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2019
Publication Date: 9/1/2021
Citation: Hoddle, M., Lake, E.C., Minteer, C., Daane, K. 2021. Importation Biological Control. Biological Control: A Global Endeavour.

Interpretive Summary: Non-native or invasive organisms such as insects, mites, and weeds can cause extensive ecological and economic harm. The “enemy release” hypothesis suggests that invasive species reach high and damaging levels in their introduced range because they arrive without the natural enemies that keep them in check in their native range. Importation or classical biological control is the deliberate importation, release, and establishment of safe (host-specific) natural enemies to suppress damaging populations of invasive organisms to levels that do not cause harm. These natural enemies can develop self-sustaining and self-dispersing populations capable of suppressing pest populations over large areas. This chapter briefly discusses the history of importation biological control and details the steps and considerations in developing these programs for invasive arthropod pests and weeds.

Technical Abstract: Importation or classical biological control is the deliberate importation, release, and establishment of natural enemies for suppressing damaging populations of non-native organisms, typically arthropods (e.g., insects or mites) or weeds, to densities that no longer cause economic or ecological harm. This pest management concept exploits the “enemy release” hypothesis which postulates that excessive densities of a non-native organism (i.e., an invasive species) cause economic or ecological damage in the invaded range, in part, because it has escaped top down control of its co-evolved natural enemies that regulate population growth in the native range. Importation biological control aims to rectify this imbalance by re-associating safe (i.e., host specific) and efficacious natural enemies with the target pest in the invaded non-native range with the goal of achieving self-sustaining and self-dispersing populations that provide significant levels of pest suppression over large areas. This chapter briefly discusses the history of importation biological control and details the steps and considerations in developing these programs for invasive arthropod pests and weeds.