Identification, Development, and Release of Insect Biocontrol Agents for the Management of Phragmites australis
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA NY DEPT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
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Introduced Phragmites australis is rapidly spreading in North America, threatening wetland plant communities and endemic native genotypes Phragmites australis americanus. Lack of successful long-term control resulted in initiation of biological control research. In the past, the program targeting introduced Phragmites has focused on several promising potential biological control agents with large impacts on P. australis. The purpose of this report is to 1 identify potential agents for in-depth study 2 outline and report initial testing procedures and results of host-specificity studies of identified agents 3 assess possibilities to develop laboratorygreenhouse mass-rearing procedures 4 outline approaches for long-term monitoring at pre-release sites and 5 assess the extent of hybridization between native and introduced genotypes. All selected insect species are stem miners that overwinter as eggs, with larvae feeding in spring and early summer. Host specificity testing is being conducted in a Rhode Island quarantine facility and at the Center for Agricultural Bioscience International CABI in Switzerland. In addition, investigations continue on the impact of Phragmites populations on native fauna and flora as well as the economic and ecological effects of Phragmites invasion. Hybridization between native and introduced genotypes appears to be restricted to a single hybridization event in central New York State.
- Agricultural Chemistry