Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists release biocontrol for water hyacinth

Date:
May 18, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A new insect that will help control the invasive weed, water hyacinth, has been released by agricultural scientists and cooperators.

This tiny insect, Megamelus scutellaris, has been released as a biocontrol for the invasive weed waterhyacinth, which has become a major problem in southeastern waterways.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Philip Tipping, ARS

A new insect that will help control the invasive weed waterhyacinth has been released by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

Waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free-floating aquatic plant native to South America that has infested freshwater ecosystems from North Carolina to California but is especially problematic in the southeastern United States. The plant is a real menace, affecting water traffic, water quality, infrastructure for pumping and hydroelectric operations, water use and biodiversity. Other problems include fish kills due to low oxygen levels and increases in populations of vectors of human and animal diseases.

ARS entomologists Philip Tipping and Ted Center, both with the agency's Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (IPRL) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., worked closely with scientists at the ARS South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to find and test Megamelus scutellaris, a new biocontrol for waterhyacinth.

M. scutellaris is a small planthopper native to South America whose nymphs and adults feed on the sap of waterhyacinth. Nymphs are active and readily hop, even off the surface of the water. The insect's population increases rapidly, which will enable it to quickly impact the waterhyacinth population.

Herbicides are the primary method for reducing waterhyacinth, but their use directly interferes with the biocontrol agents currently deployed against this weed. The scientists believe M. scutellaris may integrate better with existing herbicide programs because of its mobility, which should improve its survival in such highly managed systems.

The researchers collected adults of M. scutellaris from Argentina in April 2006 and brought them to the quarantine facility in Ft. Lauderdale where extensive host-range studies were conducted. They found that the planthopper is highly host-specific and does not pose a threat to native or economically important species.

Tipping and Center joined representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which provided more than $300,000 in financial support for the project, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at an event celebrating the insect's release at the Edgefield Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District near Palatka, Fla.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Stephanie Yao. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists release biocontrol for water hyacinth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121631.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, May 18). Scientists release biocontrol for water hyacinth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121631.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists release biocontrol for water hyacinth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518121631.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins