Annual report from USDA Invasive Species and Pollinator Heatlh Unit in CA

Mar 25, 2024

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The USDA Agricultural Research Service's Invasive Species and Pollinator Health research unit recently shared their annual activities report.   There are several interesting updates on biological control of weeds and management of aquatic invasive weeds that are highly relevant to California weed managers and land management folks. 

The full report is attached at the bottom of this post but here are a few of the topics that grabbed my attention and might be of interest to the readers of this blog.

  • Invasiveness of yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus L.) with climate change
  • Biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
  • Biological control of arundo (Arundo donax) in the Central Valley
  • Biological control of Cape-ivy (Delairea odorata) along the California coast
  • Biological control of invasive annual grasses
  • Mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions in cheatgrass invasion
  • Using molecular tools to characterize bioherbicide bacteria
  • Biological control of gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  • Future biological control of crystalline ice plant in California
  • Classical biological control of Russian thistle (Salsola spp.)
  • Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides): ecology and spread of a recent northern California invasion
  • Classical biological control of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)
  • Common reed (Phragmites australis): genetic study clarifies identity of populations in California's San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary
  • Classical biological control of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)
  • Future biological control of stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) in California
  • There are also brief updates on projects on South American spongeplant (Limnobium laevigatum), pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), common crupina (Crupina vulgaris), rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea) and Uruguayan primrose-willow (Ludwigia hexapetala).

Take a look at some of the great weed-related work being done by our USDA-ARS weed ecology/management/biocontrol colleagues in Albany and Davis, California. 

By Bradley Hanson
Author - Cooperative Extension Specialist

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