Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invading weeds are met by an offense of plant-eating insects

Date:
November 1, 2012
Source:
Allen Press Publishing Services
Summary:
What is the best course of action when an invading noxious weed threatens to attack crop yields and assault grazing land? Invite a friend to dinner. In this case, the friend is a plant-eating insect—the stem-mining weevil.

Rangelands -- What is the best course of action when an invading noxious weed threatens to attack crop yields and assault grazing land? Invite a friend to dinner. In this case, the friend is a plant-eating insect -- the stem-mining weevil.

Related Articles


The current issue of the journal Rangelands presents a study of insect biocontrol agents in North Dakota. Fighting weeds with herbicide, tillage, and mowing can be costly and labor intensive, while the weevil is a natural enemy.

The primary invader across North Dakota's 13.5 million acres of rangeland and 22 million acres of cropland is the Canada Thistle. It can displace native plants, lower crop yields, and negatively affect the quality of grazing land. Its creeping root system has already allowed it to infest about 1 million acres.

The weevil, on the other hand, winters over in the soil and likes to get an early start in the spring. It feeds on Canada Thistle as soon as it emerges, and females deposit eggs within the plant tissue. The larvae damage the plant by tunneling into its stems. While plants can compensate for this injury, they are weakened to other threats.

When introducing a biocontrol agent such as a weed-eating insect into an environment, being sure of its ability to survive and thrive is essential. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture released the stem-mining weevil at 102 sites across 34 counties in 2004. The sites were assessed in 2008, and about half the sites were visited again in 2009. Twenty sites were lost to disturbances such as cultivation or flooding.

At the remaining sites, researchers split open thistle stems, looking for evidence of the weevil's presence. In 2008, weevil activity was found at 45 sites, and the infestation level ranged widely from 5 percent to 95 percent. The following year, 11 sites where weevils were not found before now showed signs of their activity.

Five years out, the weevil was documented at 73.3 percent of sites where it was successfully released. Despite the cold air and soil temperatures of North Dakota, the weevils have established a presence. This study concluded that weevils alone cannot completely control these invading plants. But with the help of the weevils to weaken the plants, other weed control methods can deliver a knockout.


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. Deirdre A. Prischmann-Voldseth, Greta Gramig, Erin E. Burns. Home on the Range: Establishment of a Canada Thistle Biocontrol Agent. Rangelands, 2012; 34 (5): 2 DOI: 10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-11-00081.1

Cite This Page:

Allen Press Publishing Services. "Invading weeds are met by an offense of plant-eating insects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101121146.htm>.
Allen Press Publishing Services. (2012, November 1). Invading weeds are met by an offense of plant-eating insects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101121146.htm
Allen Press Publishing Services. "Invading weeds are met by an offense of plant-eating insects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101121146.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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:

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