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.

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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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