Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beetles offer effective weed control, but native vegetation hard to re-establish

Date:
November 8, 2010
Source:
Allen Press Publishing Services
Summary:
With the help of the weed-eating flea beetle, researchers significantly reduced infestations of a non-native plant, leafy spurge, on Montana rangeland. The good news is that this biological method of weed control worked effectively over the course of a 9-year study. The bad news is that rather than native plants returning to flourish in the absence of leafy spurge, other non-native species became dominant in its place.

Blossoms of leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula.
Credit: USDA

With the help of the weed-eating flea beetle, researchers significantly reduced infestations of a non-native plant, leafy spurge, on Montana rangeland. The good news is that this biological method of weed control worked effectively over the course of a 9-year study. The bad news is that rather than native plants returning to flourish in the absence of leafy spurge, other non-native species became dominant in its place.

Related Articles


The study, presented in the current issue of the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management, sought to evaluate the responses of native vegetation once the invasive species was removed using classic biological control. Black and brown flea beetles have previously been used successfully as biological control agents to manage leafy spurge on a large scale.

In the current study, the weed-eating flea beetles were released in 1998 in southeastern Montana on privately owned land used for cattle grazing. About 6,000 flea beetles were introduced onto 32 plots of leafy spurge, while 20 more plots went untreated. Over time, the beetles dispersed to the untreated plots, suppressing leafy spurge there as well.

By the study's end in 2006, leafy spurge foliar cover was reduced 80% to 90% compared to 1998 assessments. While other vegetation did increase once this invader was controlled, another non-native plant, Poa spp., became the dominant species.

Once established, strong invaders like leafy spurge may make the native plant community more susceptible to invasion by other non-native species. Any new infestations should be treated as soon as possible to reduce long-term effects such as contributions to the seed bank, native species loss, and ecosystem modification.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Allen Press Publishing Services. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jack L. Butler, Stefanie D. Wacker. Lack of Native Vegetation Recovery Following Biological Control of Leafy Spurge. Rangeland Ecology & Management, September 2010, Vol. 63, No. 5, pp. 553-563. DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-09-00075.1

Cite This Page:

Allen Press Publishing Services. "Beetles offer effective weed control, but native vegetation hard to re-establish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105141613.htm>.
Allen Press Publishing Services. (2010, November 8). Beetles offer effective weed control, but native vegetation hard to re-establish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105141613.htm
Allen Press Publishing Services. "Beetles offer effective weed control, but native vegetation hard to re-establish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105141613.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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