Friday, November 19, 2010

Beetles Offer Effective Weed Control, but Native Vegetation Hard to Re-establish

(Nov 8, 2010)
Allen Press. Rangeland Ecology & Management.

With the help of the weed-eating flea beetle, researchers significantly reduced infestations of a non-native plant, Leafy Spurge, on Montana rangeland. This biological method of weed control worked effectively over the course of a 9-year study, but rather than native plants returning to flourish in the absence of leafy spurge, other non-native species became dominant in its place. 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. The findings are published in the Rangeland Ecology & Management article Lack of Native Vegetation Recovery Following Biological Control of Leafy Spurge.


Related Posts with Thumbnails