Grasses as appropriate targets in weed biocontrol: is the common reed, Phragmites australis, an anomaly?

Grasses as appropriate targets in weed biocontrol: is the common reed, Phragmites australis, an... Despite their importance as invasive species, there has been a hesitation to target grasses in classical biocontrol. This historic bias appears to be changing with multiple active research and release programs. Similarly, biocontrol workers appear to avoid targeting species with native congeners. These biases appear inappropriate as the ecological and entomological literature provide abundant evidence for sub-genus specificity for many herbivores, including those attacking grasses. The biocontrol program targeting Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud (Poaceae) provides an informative example with endemic subspecies in North America and many sub-genus specific herbivores, including potential European control agents. Grasses and target weeds with congeneric native species require rigorous host range testing, similar to all other targets in current weed biological control programs. Furthermore, it appears prudent to ask petition reviewers and regulatory agencies to abandon their focus on results of no-choice studies and to distinguish between trivial feeding and demographic impacts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png BioControl Springer Journals

Grasses as appropriate targets in weed biocontrol: is the common reed, Phragmites australis, an anomaly?

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC)
Subject
Life Sciences; Entomology; Plant Pathology; Agriculture; Animal Ecology; Animal Biochemistry; Behavioral Sciences
ISSN
1386-6141
eISSN
1573-8248
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10526-018-9871-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite their importance as invasive species, there has been a hesitation to target grasses in classical biocontrol. This historic bias appears to be changing with multiple active research and release programs. Similarly, biocontrol workers appear to avoid targeting species with native congeners. These biases appear inappropriate as the ecological and entomological literature provide abundant evidence for sub-genus specificity for many herbivores, including those attacking grasses. The biocontrol program targeting Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud (Poaceae) provides an informative example with endemic subspecies in North America and many sub-genus specific herbivores, including potential European control agents. Grasses and target weeds with congeneric native species require rigorous host range testing, similar to all other targets in current weed biological control programs. Furthermore, it appears prudent to ask petition reviewers and regulatory agencies to abandon their focus on results of no-choice studies and to distinguish between trivial feeding and demographic impacts.

Journal

BioControlSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 20, 2018

References

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