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Suckling D.M.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Sforza R.F.H.,European Biological Control Laboratory
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

A systematic review focused by plant on non-target impacts from agents deliberately introduced for the biological control of weeds found significant non-target impacts to be rare. The magnitude of direct impact of 43 biocontrol agents on 140 non-target plants was retrospectively categorized using a risk management framework for ecological impacts of invasive species (minimal, minor, moderate, major, massive). The vast majority of agents introduced for classical biological control of weeds (>99% of 512 agents released) have had no known significant adverse effects on non-target plants thus far; major effects suppressing non-target plant populations could be expected to be detectable. Most direct non-target impacts on plants (91.6%) were categorized as minimal or minor in magnitude with no known adverse long-term impact on non-target plant populations, but a few cacti and thistles are affected at moderate (n = 3), major (n = 7) to massive (n = 1) scale. The largest direct impacts are from two agents (Cactoblastis cactorum on native cacti and Rhinocyllus conicus on native thistles), but these introductions would not be permitted today as more balanced attitudes exist to plant biodiversity, driven by both society and the scientific community. Our analysis shows (as far as is known), weed biological control agents have a biosafety track record of >99% of cases avoiding significant non-target impacts on plant populations. Some impacts could have been overlooked, but this seems unlikely to change the basic distribution of very limited adverse effects. Fewer non-target impacts can be expected in future because of improved science and incorporation of wider values. Failure to use biological control represents a significant opportunity cost from the certainty of ongoing adverse impacts from invasive weeds. It is recommended that a simple five-step scale be used to better communicate the risk of consequences from both action (classical biological control) and no action (ongoing impacts from invasive weeds). Source

Kleist A.,University of California at Davis | Herrera-Reddy A.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Sforza R.,European Biological Control Laboratory | Jasieniuk M.,University of California at Davis
Biological Invasions | Year: 2014

Investigating the origins of invasive populations provides insight into the evolutionary and anthropogenic factors underlying invasions, and can inform management decisions. Invasive species introduced for horticultural purposes often have complex origins typified by multiple introductions of species, cultivars, and genotypes, and interspecific and intraspecific hybridizations in introduced ranges. Such complex introduction histories may result in complex genetic signatures in the invaded range, making inferences about origins difficult, particularly when all putative sources cannot be sampled. In this study, we inferred the origins of the invasive French broom complex in California using 12 nuclear microsatellite markers. We characterized the genetic diversity and population structure of invasive and horticultural brooms in their invaded range in California and of Genista monspessulana in its native Mediterranean range. Overall, no significant differences in allelic richness, observed heterozygosity, inbreeding, or genetic structure were observed between the invaded and native ranges, but differences existed among populations within ranges. Bayesian STRUCTURE analysis revealed three genetic clusters in the French broom complex. Nearly all native G. monspessulana assigned highly to a single cluster. Many invasives assigned to a second cluster that contained Genista canariensis, Genista stenopetala, and ornamental sweet broom, and the remaining invasives assigned to a third cluster that also contained some G. monspessulana individuals from Sardinia and Corsica. Admixture between the second and third clusters was detected. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis of six alternative scenarios supported the hypothesis that some invasive French broom is derived from an unsampled population branching from ornamental sweet broom. A combination of factors, including multiple introductions, escapes from cultivation, and inter-taxon hybridization, likely contribute to the invasive success of French broom in California and may have important implications for management, in particular biological control. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Maguire D.,University of Toronto | Sforza R.,European Biological Control Laboratory | Smith S.M.,University of Toronto
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

The alien invasive vines Vincetoxicum rossicum and Vincetoxicum nigrum (swallow-wort) are of major concern in eastern North America, where both species invade forested landscapes and threaten faunal and plant diversity. Among the few native natural enemies reported in Eurasia, the specialist chrysomelid, Chrysochus (Eumolpus) asclepiadeus (Coleoptera; Chrysomelidae), feeds on Vincetoxicum both above ground (as adults) and below ground (as larvae). The goal of our study was to assess the potential for using this beetle to manage invasive Vincetoxicum spp. in North America by quantifying the impact of herbivory by C. asclepiadeus on Vincetoxicum and determining whether this effect was influenced by plant density ("Allee effect"). Experimental work was carried out using a split plot design in the field in southern France. Pots of V. nigrum and V. hirundinaria, a substitute for V. rossicum, were planted at high (255 plants/m2), medium (127 plants/m2), and low (32 plants/m2) plant densities, and received treatments of 0 (control), 2 or 4 C. asclepiadeus adult beetles/pot. Leaf damage, root and shoot biomass, and quantity of seeds were measured after 4 weeks of adult feeding. Densities of 2 and 4 beetles/pot caused similar damage, with significant reductions in plant biomass at low plant density. While V. hirundinaria increased allocation of resources to roots in response to herbivory, V. nigrum did not. Seed production was greatest for both species grown at low plant densities, but only V. nigrum produced fewer seeds in response to herbivory. Our results, based on the effects of herbivory by C. asclepiadeus adults, suggest that if this beetle were to be introduced into North America for the management of Vincetoxicum spp. such as V. rossicum, reductions in plant biomass and spread would be greatest if beetles were released on edges or in newly-established satellite populations at low plant densities. In the case of V. nigrum, beetles could be released irrespective of plant density as reproductive output and seed dispersal would be reduced similarly. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media (outside the USA). Source

Brabbs T.,UK Environment Agency | Collins D.,UK Environment Agency | Herard F.,European Biological Control Laboratory | Maspero M.,Fondazione Minoprio | Eyre D.,UK Environment Agency
Pest Management Science | Year: 2015

This review summarises the literature on the biological control of Anoplophora spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and discusses its potential for use in Europe. Entomopathogenic fungi: Beauveria brongniartii Petch (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) has already been developed into a commercial product in Japan, and fungal infection results in high mortality rates. Parasitic nematodes: Steinernema feltiae Filipjev (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) and Steinernema carpocapsae Weiser have potential for use as biopesticides as an alternative to chemical treatments. Parasitoids: a parasitoid of Anoplophora chinensis Forster, Aprostocetus anoplophorae Delvare (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), was discovered in Italy in 2002 and has been shown to be capable of parasitising up to 72% of A. chinensis eggs; some native European parasitoid species (e.g. Spathius erythrocephalus) also have potential to be used as biological control agents. Predators: two woodpecker (Piciformis: Picidae) species that are native to Europe, Dendrocopos major Beicki and Picus canus Gmelin, have been shown to be effective at controlling Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky in Chinese forests. The removal and destruction of infested and potentially infested trees is the main eradication strategy for Anoplophora spp. in Europe, but biological control agents could be used in the future to complement other management strategies, especially in locations where eradication is no longer possible. © 2014 Crown copyright. Source

Chen L.-Z.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Liang G.-M.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhang J.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Wu K.-M.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology | Year: 2010

Aminopeptidase N (APN) and cadherin-like proteins have been previously identified as Cry1Ac-binding proteins in Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner). In this study, a proteomic approach was used to identify novel Cry1Ac-binding proteins in H. armigera. Brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) of H. armigera were extracted and separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). Cry1Ac-binding proteins were detected using antisera against Cry1Ac. Peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) was used to identify Cry1Ac-binding proteins. In total, four proteins were identified as candidate Cry1Ac-binding proteins in H. armigera: vacuolar ATP synthase (V-ATPase) subunit B, actin, heat shock cognate protein (HSCP), and a novel protein. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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