Source: OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN PEST MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS OF PLANTS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0193908
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
ORE00269A
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
W-2185
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2007
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2012
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
McEvoy, P. B.
Recipient Organization
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
CORVALLIS,OR 97331
Performing Department
BOTANY AND PLANT PATHOLOGY
Non Technical Summary
Alien weeds pose some of the most serious threats to agriculture and to biological diversity, and many are amenable to biological control using insects and pathogens. The purpose of the proposed work is to develop safe and effective biological controls for harmful non-indigenous plant species in the Western USA. Harmful, non-indigenous plant species invade Oregon, threatening agriculture, waterways, native ecosystems, and even human health. This research is helping to reduce harm from invasive plant species through the use of biological control. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of the twelve worst noxious weeds in the state is $67 million annually. Three of the 12 worst weeds (ragwort, purple loosestrife, and rush skeleton weed) currently have detailed research programs in our laboratory. Oregon has the largest portfolio of biological weed control systems in the nation, numbering 71 control organism species for 31 weed species. Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, a weed of roadsides, pastures, and grasslands has been successfully controlled by biological methods. Assuming that at least half of the benefits calculated for controlling ragwort at its peak can be attributed to this research, then annual benefits to Oregon growers and livestock producers amount to $3 million/year. Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invader of wetlands, is being controlled by four introduced insect species distributed across invested sites in Oregon and the rest of the USA.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
30%
Applied
50%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2050330107020%
2050330113010%
2050330114010%
2050799107020%
2050799113010%
2050799114010%
2053110107020%
Goals / Objectives
Goal A: Import and Establish Effective Natural Enemies (Classical Biological Control). Goal A includes 6 specific objectives: Objective 1. Survey indigenous natural enemies.Objective 2. Conduct foreign exploration and ecological studies in native range of pest.Objective 3. Determine systematics and biogeography of pests and natural enemies.Objective 4. Determine environmental safety of exotic candidates prior to release.Objective 5. Release, establish and redistribute natural enemies.Objective 6. Evaluate natural enemy efficacy and study ecological/physiological basis for interactions. Goal B: Conserve Natural Enemies to Increase Biological Control of Target Pests. Goal B has 3 specific objectives: Objective 7. Characterize and identify pest and natural enemy communities and their interactions. Objective 8. Identify and assess factors potentially disruptive to biological control. Objective 9. Implement and evaluate habitat modification, horticultural practices, and pest suppression tactics to conserve natural enemy activity. Goal C: Augment Natural Enemies to Increase Biological Control Efficacy. Goal C has 3 specific objectives: Objective 10. Assess biological characteristics of natural enemies. Objective 11. Develop procedures for rearing, storing, quality control and release of natural enemies, and conduct experimental releases to assess feasibility. Objective 12. Implement augmentation programs and evaluate efficacy of natural enemies. Goal D: Evaluate environmental and economic impacts and raise public awareness of biological control. Goal D has 2 specific objectives: Objective 13. Evaluate the environmental and economic impacts of biological control agents. Objective 14. Develop and implement outreach activities for biological control programs.
Project Methods
We combine observational, experimental, and modeling approaches for improving the safety and effectiveness of biological control. We work closely with Eric Coombs of the Oregon Department of Agriculture to translate research into implementation of biological control by land management agencies (principally ODA, APHIS, USDA-ARS, USDA-FS, BLM, US Army Corps of Engineers)and individuals (principally land owners).

Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This year we reported evidence of genetic divergence in juvenile development time occurring on a decadal time scale for the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) colonizing new habitats and host-plant species in the high elevations of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The cinnabar moth was introduced into Oregon in 1960 for biological control of tansy of ragwort. Four lines of evidence support the conclusion that shorter juvenile development times (egg to pupa) evolved after anthropogenic redistribution of the cinnabar moth from Willamette Valley to the Cascade Mountains, where temperatures are cooler and growing seasons are shorter: (1) anthropogenic spread 1970-1990 increased spatial spread rates 274 fold over autonomous spread of cinnabar moth from the Willamette Valley to the Cascades, (2) field observations showed that the Cascades population has shorter juvenile development times corresponding to a shorter growing season, (3) a common garden experiment revealed genetic differentiation in juvenile development time between Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain populations correlated with the length of the growing season, and (4) a laboratory experiment rearing pedigreed offspring (from parental crosses within and between Willamette Valley and Cascade populations) demonstrated the pattern of inheritance and genetic differentiation in juvenile development time between populations. We made progress in disseminating research through oral presentations (invited speaker at national and international meetings) and in training the next generation of entomologists and ecologists that are addressing issues in invasive species and biological control, as well as teaching undergraduates in these issues through my course Bot 341 Plant Ecology. I helped prepare a review of graduate program in Botany and Plant Pathology at OSU as a member of the Graduate Student Committee. PARTICIPANTS: Don Campanella, Dr. Ralph Garono, Elise Ferrarese, Dr. Fritzi Grevstad OSU, OR Dept of Agriculture, Earth Designs, USFS, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservency, University of Leiden TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include regional groups in Oregon that suffer some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
We have developed new ways to diagnose and exploit vulnerable phases of weed and pest life cycles by combining factorial experiments and structured population models (Dauer et al. 2012). These methods take us beyond traditional reliance on trial and error in selection natural enemies for biological control of invasive species. We have developed two simple methods for the statistical comparison of the temporal pattern of life-cycle events between two populations (Murtaugh et al. 2012). Application of these methods contributed to the discovery of rapid evolution in the phenology of insects for biological control of weeds (McEvoy et al. 2012b). These findings should motivate regulators to require evaluation of evolutionary potential of candidate biological control organisms prior to release to help forecast safety and effectiveness of introduced biological control organisms. Biological control introductions represent large-scale experiments in population ecology that potentially provide valuable information on the relevant independent and dependent variables in insect outbreaks and invasions. We show how contrasting outbreaks of insect pests and biological control organisms can be fruitful for understanding, predicting, and managing population growth, movement, spatial spread, and impacts of insect species with eruptive dynamics (McEvoy et al. 2012a).

Publications

  • Grevstad, F., E. Coombs, P.B. McEvoy. 2012. Revisiting release strategies in biological control of weeds. Proceedings of the XIIIth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, 11-16 September 2011, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
  • Murtaugh, P. A., S. C. Sarah Emerson, P. B. McEvoy, and K. M. Higgs. 2012. The statistical analysis of phenology data. Environmental Entomology 41:355-361.
  • Dauer, J.T., McEvoy, P.B. & Sickle, J.V. 2012. Controlling a plant invader by targeted disruption of its life cycle. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 322-30.
  • McEvoy, P. B., K. M. Higgs, E. M. Coombs, E. KARACETIN, and L. Ann Starcevich. 2012. Evolving while invading: rapid adaptive evolution in juvenile development time for a biological control organism colonizing a high elevation environment. Evolutionary Applications 5: 524-536
  • McEvoy, P. B., F. S. Grevstad, and S. S. Schooler. 2012. Insect Invasions: Lessons from Biological Control of Weeds. Pages 395-428 in P. Barbosa, D. K. Letourneau, and A. A. Agrawal, editors. Insect Outbreaks Revisited. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: We completed field and lab research on rapid evolution in phenology of an introduced biocontrol insect (the cinnabar moth) that is invading mountainous regions of Western Oregon. We made progress in disseminating research through oral presentations (McEvoy invited speaker at national and international meetings) and in training the next generation of entomologists and ecologists that are addressing issues in invasive species and biological control, as well as teaching undergraduates in these issues through my course Bot 341 Plant Ecology. PARTICIPANTS: F.S. Grevstad, EM Combs, Oregon State University; Laurel Moulton, Oregon State University; TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences include regional groups in Oregon that currently suffer some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. This project spawns formal classroom instruction in Plant Ecology, Evolutionary Biology of Insects, Insect Ecology and Plant Insect interactions of upper level undergraduates and graduate students. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Our results confirm that there is a role for evolutionary biology in biological control procedures including climate matching and host specificity testing. Our results show that biological control organisms are capable of rapid evolution following colonization of new environments, making the evaluation of evolutionary potential a necessary component of risk benefit cost analysis of candidate biological control organisms prior to release. It would be desirable and feasible to screen for genetic variation among families and populations when evaluating traits prior to releasing new organisms into the environment. More generally our research shows how an ongoing ecological process like invasions is shaped by evolution. The effect of ecological change on evolution has long been a focus of scientific research. The reverse, how evolutionary change affects ecological traits, has only recently engaged our attention with the realization that evolution can occur over ecological time scales. Our study is among a small but growing number of studies demonstrating or implying rapid evolution for a variety of traits (morphological, physiological, life-history, phenological, and behavioral). Most examples involve colonization events, i.e. invasion, or local changes along environmental gradients. Although all examples are found in nature (rather than strictly in the laboratory), humans have spurred many of these examples by deliberate or accidental introduction or other environment modification. This area of research has spawned the new field of eco evolutionary dynamics, which investigates the reciprocal feedback between evolution and ecology.

Publications

  • Grevstad, F. S., E. M. Coombs, and P. B. McEvoy. 2011. Revisiting release strategies in biological control of weeds: are we using enough releases, XIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA.
  • Higgs, K., and P. McEvoy. 2011. Estimating nontarget effects: No detectable, short-term effect of feeding by cinnabar moth caterpillars on growth and reproduction of Senecio triangularis, XIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
  • McEvoy, P., and K. M. Higgs. 2011. Beyond the Lottery Model: Challenges in the selection of target and control organisms for biological weed control, XIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Waikoloa, Hawaii.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The activities associated with this project include (1) analyzing the risks, benefits, and costs of introducing biological control organisms to Oregon for biological control of weeds using the cinnabar moth as a model system, (2) analyzing heritable variation in life cycle features (diapause intensity, speed of development) in introduced biological control organisms, (3) measuring and modeling phenology of biological control organisms in response to climate change, (4) monitoring services for biological control of purple loosestrife in the Columbia River Estuary, (5) teaching insect ecology to undergraduate and graduate students, (6) training the next generation of professional ecologists and entomologists, (7) mentoring weed managers in the practice of biological control of weeds. The events include organizing and participating in symposia on Biological Control in Integrated Pest Management systems in Portland, Oregon; Christchurch, New Zealand; Stanford Sierra Conference Center, South Lake Tahoe, CA. I contributed services and consulting to Earth Designs on a project to control purple loosestrife in the Columbia River Estuary. PARTICIPANTS: Peter McEvoy is PI on research on the ecology and biological control of ragwort. Dr. Don Campanella completed his PhD on biological control of skeleton weed in 2009. Dr. Ralph Garono is PI on a project to control purple loosestrife in the Columbia River estuary assisted by Elise Ferrarese. Dr. Fritzi Grevstad is PI on a project to find, screen, and release biological control organisms on knotweeds and gorse. Eric Coombs manages Oregon's biological control portfolio including over 70 control organisms on over 30 weed species. Partner organizations include Oregon Department of Agriculture, Earth Designs, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, University of Leiden, and Multistate Research Project, W2185, "Biological Control in Pest Management Systems of Plants (from W1185)". Additional collaborators include Vrushali Bokil (Mathematics), Denny Bruck (USDA), Munisamy Gopinath (Agricultural Economics), and Ed Peachey (Horticulture). This project contributes to training and professional development of graduate students (Don Campanella and others), post docs (Joseph Dauer and others), research professors (Fritzi Grevstad and others), research assistants (Kimberley HIggs, and others. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences include regional groups in Oregon that currently suffer some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. This project spawns formal classroom instruction in Plant Ecology, Evolutionary Biology of Insects, Insect Ecology, and Plant-Insect interactions of upper-level-undergraduates and graduate students. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
I contributed to a change in knowledge by (1) new fundamental knowledge on the causes and cures for plant invasions, (2) life table response experiments combining factorial experiments and structured population models, (3) perturbation analysis of these models to obtain a reliable prescription on how to intervene in a plant's life cycle to change population growth and spatial spread, (4) skill building among biological control scientists seeking to adopt this approach in a workshop held in Portland as part of the International IPM Symposium . We have promoted application and actual use of fundamental or applied knowledge through Eric Coombs at ODA who manages Oregon's portfolio, is lead author on a compendium of biological control in the USA, and presents > 20 talks per year on biological control to constituents. We have increased the rate of adoption of a Code of Best Practices based in part by our rigorous approach to evaluating risks and benefits in biological control. We have county weed agents and private land owners using successful biological control organisms instead of chemicals for control of Dalmatian toadflax, loosestrife, diffuse knapweed, and Mediterranean sage. We have cooperators adopting new techniques for collecting sorting, and redistributing biological control organisms and reporting back on outcomes using a standard release form. Development of human resources and infrastructure needed for finding and screening biological control organisms for knotweeds and Scot's Broom through first use of quarantine facility at OSU. Our weed control programs have led to (1) higher productivity in pastures, (2) restoring wetland function to reduce pollution, flooding, erosion, biodiversity and ecosystem-function loss. Our analysis of multiple causes of invasions is replacing the analysis of single causes and feeding back on methods for managing invasions by improving predict and prevent, detect early and eradicate, or mitigate through biological and other control procedures.

Publications

  • Campanella, D.M., P.B. McEvoy, C.C. Mundt. 2009. Interaction effects of two biological control organisms on resistant and susceptible weed biotypes of Chondrilla juncea in western North America. Biological Control 50: 50-59.
  • McEvoy, P.B. and J. Dauer. 2009. Biological control of pests and weeds by targeted disruption of their life cycles. International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods. 8-14 February 2009, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The activities associated with this project include (1) analyzing surveys of the risks and benefits of introducing biological control organisms to Oregon for biological control of weeds, (2) analyzing factorial experiments and matrix models to identify vulnerabilities in weed life cycles that can be exploited to more effectively manage weed populations, (3) teaching evolutionary biology of plant feeding insects to graduate students, (4) mentoring weed managers in the practice of biological control of weeds. The events include organizing and participating in symposia on Noxious Weed Management held in Corvallis, Oregon; Biological Control in Integrated Pest Management systems in Portland, Oregon and in Christchurch, New Zealand. I contributed services and consulting to Earth Designs on a project to control purple loosestrife in the Columbia River Estuary. I developed a new curriculum in Evolutionary Biology of Insects; new models and methods to identify vulnerabilities in weed life cycles that can be exploited by management; and I helped developed a new website for the Entomology Program at OSU http://entomology.oregonstate.edu/ PARTICIPANTS: Peter McEvoy is PI on research on the ecology and biological control of ragwort, and Dr. Joseph Dauer was a post doc in 2008. Dr. Don Campanella completed his PhD on biological control of skeleton weed. Dr. Ralph Garono is PI on a project to control purple loosestrife in the Columbia River estuary. Dr. Fritzi Grevstad is PI on a project to find, screen, and release biological control organisms on knotweeds. Eric Coombs manages Oregon's biological control portfolio including over 70 control organisms on over 30 weed species. Partner organizations include Oregon Department of Agriculture, Earth Designs, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, University of Leiden, and Multistate Research Project, W2185, "Biological Control in Pest Management Systems of Plants (from W1185)". Additional collaborators include Vrushali Bokil (Mathematics) and Ed Peachey (Horticulture). This project contributes to training and professional development of graduate students (Don Campanella and others), post docs (Joseph Dauer and others), research professors (Fritzi Grevstad and others), research assistants (Paolo Sanguankeo, Laurel Moulton, Kimberley Smith, and others). The target audiences include regional groups in Oregon that currently suffer some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences include regional groups in Oregon that currently suffer some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. This project spawns formal classroom instruction in Plant Ecology, Evolutionary Biology of Insects, Insect Ecology, and Plant-Insect interactions of upper-level-undergraduates and graduate students. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
I contributed to a change in knowledge by (1) new fundamental knowledge on the causes and cures for plant invasions, (2) life table response experiments combining factorial experiments and structured population models, (3) perturbation analysis of these models to obtain a reliable prescription on how to intervene in a plant's life cycle to change population growth and spatial spread, (4) skill building among biological control scientists seeking to adopt this approach in a workshop held in Portland as part of the International IPM Symposium, (5) policy knowledge on how to predict the beneficial and harmful effects of species introductions incorporated in a National Academy of Science study commissioned by APHIS. We have promoted application and actual use of fundamental or applied knowledge through Eric Coombs at ODA who manages Oregon's portfolio, is lead author on a compendium of biological control in the USA, and presents > 20 talks per year on biological control to constituents. We have increased the rate of adoption of a Code of Best Practices based in part by our rigorous approach to evaluating risks and benefits in biological control. We have county weed agents and private land owners using successful biological control organisms instead of chemicals for control of Dalmatian toadflax, loosestrife, diffuse knapweed, and Mediterranean sage. We have cooperators adopting new techniques for collecting sorting, and redistributing biological control organisms and reporting back on outcomes using a standard release form. We contributed to publications `Biological Control of Invasive Plants the United States' and a series of publications (Forest health Technology Enterprise Team) on biological and biological control of particular weeds that are widely used in the United States and abroad. Our analysis of causes and consequences of variation in state weed lists feeds back on weed listing decisions in Oregon. Development of human resources and infrastructure needed for finding and screening biological control organisms for knotweeds through first use of quarantine facility at OSU. Our weed control programs have led to (1) higher productivity in pastures, (2) restoring wetland function to reduce pollution, flooding, erosion, biodiversity and ecosystem-function loss. Our analysis of multiple causes of invasions is replacing the analysis of single causes and feeding back on methods for managing invasions by improving predict and prevent, detect early and eradicate, or mitigate through biological and other control procedures.

Publications

  • Schooler, S. S., P. B. McEvoy, P. Hammond, and E. M. Coombs. 2008. Negative per capita effects of two invasive plants, Lythrum salicaria and Phalaris arundinacea, on the moth diversity of wetland communities. Bulletin of Entomological Research 24:1-15.
  • McEvoy, P. B., E. Karacetin, and D. J. Bruck. 2008. Can a pathogen provide insurance against host shifts by a biological control organism Pages 37-42 in Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. CAB International Wallingford, UK., La Grande Motte, France.


Progress 10/01/02 to 09/30/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Nonindigenous plants and plant pests that find their way to the United States and become invasive can often cause problems. They cost more than $100 billion per year in crop and timber losses plus the expense of herbicides and pesticides. And this figure does not include the costs of invasions in less intensively managed ecosystems such as wetlands. The Committee on the Scientific Basis for Predicting the Invasive Potential of Nonindigenous Plants and Plant Pests in the United States, National Research Council, examined this growing problem and offered recommendations for enhancing the science base in this field, improving our detection of potential invaders, and refining our ability to predict their impact. In a book published by The National Academies Press, the committee analyzes the factors that shape an invader's progress through four stages: arriving through one of many possible ports of entry, reaching a threshold of survival, thriving through proliferation and geographic spread, and ultimate impact on the organism s new environment. The book also reviews approaches to predicting whether a species will become an invader as well as the more complex challenge of predicting and measuring its impact on the environment, a process involving value judgments and risk assessment. Noxious weed regulations play an important role in preventing the introduction and spread of non-native plants, thereby protecting the local biodiversity, environment and economic activities. However, these regulations could also hamper agricultural trade. In a very recent study, a team representing ecology and agricultural economics at Oregon State University addressed the causes and consequences of cross-state differences in noxious weed regulations. PARTICIPANTS: Buccola, Steven T., Agricultural & Resource Economics, Oregon State University; Munisamy, Gopinath, Agricultural & Resource Economics, Oregon State University; Campanella, Don, Graduate Student, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University; Coombs, Eric , Oregon Department of Agriculture, Salem, OR; Dauer, Joseph, Post Doctoral Fellow, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University; Grevstad, Fritzi, Natural Resources Center, University of Washington, Long Beach, WA; Garono, Ralph J., Wetland & Watershed Assessment Group, Earth Design Consultants, Inc. Corvallis, Oregon; Karacetin, Evrim, Graduate Student, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey; Moore, Lynda, Graduate Student, Environmental Biology, Portland State University; Schooler, Shon, Graduate Student and then Research Scientist, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia; Schaffner, Urs, CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre, Delemont, Switzerland. Opportunities were provided for training 2 post docs (Joseph Dauer, Fritzi Grevstad) and 6 graduate students - 2 PhD (Schooler, Karacetin) and 4 Ms (Schooler, Schat, Fuller, Thiebeault). TARGET AUDIENCES: See earlier description of target audiences.

Impacts
Reviewing the scientific basis for predicting invasions has helped policymakers, plant scientists, agricultural producers, environmentalists, and public agencies use science to inform decisions on invasive plant and plant pest species. Analyzing the causes and consequences of variation in state weed lists has helped harmonize noxious weed regulations and reduce unwarranted interference with trade in plant commodities. A one-stop reference on weed biological control organisms for the USA has helped land managers, natural resource and weed control specialists, and students of natural resource management find practical, science-based information needed for understanding and using biological control as part of an integrated invasive plant management strategy.

Publications

  • Coombs, E. M., S. S. Schooler, and P. B. McEvoy. 2004. Nontarget Impacts of Biological Control Agents. Pages 106-113 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Karacetin, E., D. J. Bruck, and P. B. McEvoy. 2005. Effect of a pathogen on host range of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae, Arctiidae). in M. Hoddle, editor. International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, Davos, Switzerland.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2002. Insect-plant interactions on a planet of weeds. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 104:165-179.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2002. Pimm s Audit. A review of "The World According to Pimm: A Scientist Audits the Earth" by Stuart Pimm. American Scientist 90:190-191.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2002. The promise and the peril of biological weed control. in Janet Meakin Poor Research Symposium: Invasive Plants-Global Issues, Local Challenges, Chicago, Illinois.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2003. Population and community approaches to biological control of invasive plant species using insects. in Invasive Plants in Natural and Managed Systems: Linking Science and Management and 7th International Conference on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions, Wyndham Bonaventure Resort, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2003. Role of ecology in selecting target species and agents for biological control. in J. M. Cullen, editor. XI Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2005. Biological control of invasive plant species step by step. in B. Campbell, editor. Invasive Species Management: Assessing and Addressing Threats to Oregon s Wildlife and Habitats, LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • McEvoy, P. B., F. Grevstad, E. Coombs, and S. Schooler. 2005. Measuring and modeling the spread of a weed biological control organism. in 2005 Annual Meeting Ecological Society of America, Montreal, Canada.
  • McEvoy, P. B., E. Karacetin, and D. J. Bruck. 2008. Can a pathogen provide insurance against host shifts by a biological control organism? in Proceedings of the IX International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, La Grande Motte, France.
  • Min, H., M. Gopinath, S. Buccola, and P. B. McEvoy. 2008. Rent-Seeking in Noxious Weed Regulations: Evidence from US States. Land Economics: Accepted.
  • Min, H., M. Gopinath, S. Buccola, and P. B. McEvoy. 2008. Noxious weeds listing time: the role of invader characteristics and ecosystem invasibility. Submitted.
  • Min, M., M. Gopinath, S. Buccola, and P. B. McEvoy. 2005. State Noxious Weed Seed Regulations: Economic or Scientific Decisions. in Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) Review and Workshop 20-21 October 2005, Washington, D.C.
  • National Research Council (Richard Mack, c. c., S. Barrett, P. DeFur, W. MacDonald, L. Madden, D. Marshall, D. McCullough, P. McEvoy, J. Nyrop, S. Reichard, K. Rice, and S. Tolin). 2002. The Scientific Basis for Predicting the Invasive Potential of Nonindigenous Plants and Plant Pests. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  • Piper, G. L., E. M. Coombs, B. Blossey, P. B. McEvoy, and S. S. Schooler. 2004. Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, Loosestrife family - Lythraceae. Pages 281-292 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Schooler, S. S., E. M. Coombs, and P. B. McEvoy. 2003. Nontarget effects on crepe myrtle by Galerucella pusilla and G. calmariensis (Chrysomelidae), used for biological control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Weed Science 51:449-455.
  • Schooler, S. S., P. B. McEvoy, and E. M. Coombs. 2004. The Ecology of Biological Control. Pages 15-26 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Coombs, E. M., P. B. McEvoy, and G. P. Markin. 2004. Tansy ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, Sunflower family - Asteraceae. Pages 335-344 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
Assessing cause-and-effect relationships of weed biological control programs requires linking herbivore density with plant abundance. Spatial and temporal fluctuations in herbivore density, feeding niche and behavior, and anti-predator behavioral responses often make it difficult to count individuals directly. An alternative to direct counts is to estimate herbivore density indirectly from feeding damage. To apply the indirect approach, one must first establish the functional form of the density-damage relationship. We manipulated the density of adult and larval Galerucella pusilla on the target host plant, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and estimated damage to shoots in greenhouse and field-cage experiments to quantify the relationship between beetle density and plant damage. The relationship between damage and density was linear for adults on ln-transformed scales and linear for larvae on untransformed scales over the range of densities examined. These results indicate that plant damage is an increasing function of insect density and that visual estimates of leaf area damaged can be used to estimate G. pusilla beetle density for field populations below carrying capacity. Invasive plants can simplify plant community structure, alter ecosystem processes, and undermine the ecosystem services that we derive from biotic diversity. Two invasive plants, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), are becoming the dominant species in many wetlands across temperate North America. We used a horizontal, observational study to estimate per capita effects (PCEs) of purple loosestrife and reed canary grass on plant diversity in 24 wetland communities in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Four measures of diversity were used: the number of species (S), evenness of relative abundance (J), the Shannon-Wiener index (H'), and Simpson's index (D). We show that (1) the PCEs on biotic diversity were similar for both invasive species among the four measures of diversity we examined, (2) the relationship between plant diversity and invasive plant abundance ranges from linear (constant slope) to negative exponential (variable slope), the latter signifying that the PCEs are density-dependent, 3) the PCEs were density-dependent for measures of diversity sensitive to the number of species (S, H', D) but not for the measure that relied solely upon relative abundance (J), and (4) invader abundance was not correlated with other potential influences on biodiversity (hydrology, soils, topography). These results indicate that both species are capable of reducing plant community diversity and management strategies need to consider the simultaneous control of multiple species if the goal is to maintain diverse plant communities.

Impacts
Harmful, non-indigenous plant species invade Oregon, threatening agriculture, waterways, native ecosystems, and even human health. This research is helping to reduce harm from invasive plant species through the use of biological control. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of the twelve worst noxious weeds in the state is $67 million annually. Three of the 12 worst weeds (ragwort, purple loosestrife, and rush skeleton weed) currently have detailed research programs in our laboratory. Oregon has the largest portfolio of biological weed control systems in the nation, numbering 71 control organism species for 31 weed species. Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, a weed of roadsides, pastures, and grasslands has been successfully controlled by biological methods. Assuming that at least half of the benefits calculated for controlling ragwort at its peak can be attributed to this research, then annual benefits to Oregon growers and livestock producers amount to $3 million/year. Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invader of wetlands, is being controlled by four introduced insect species distributed across invested sites in Oregon and the rest of the USA.

Publications

  • Campanella, D., C. Mundt, and P. B. McEvoy. 2006. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the biological control of an invasive plant, Chondrilla juncea (Asteraceae). Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts.
  • McEvoy, P. B., E. Karacetin, and D. J. Bruck. 2006. Host plant use by the cinnabar moth is mediated by a parasite. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts.
  • Schooler, S. S., and P. B. McEvoy. 2006. Relationship between insect density and plant damage for the golden loosestrife beetle, Galerucella pusilla, on purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Biological Control 36:100-105.
  • Schooler, S. S., P. B. McEvoy, and E. M. Coombs. 2006. Negative per capita effects of purple loosestrife and reed canary grass on plant diversity of wetland communities. Diversity and Distributions 12:351-363.


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
1. Reviewing and improving the scientific and regulatory framework for classical biological control of invasive plant species. Classical weed biocontrol is subject to some of the strictest evaluations currently made in the United States for planned release of alien organisms. Nevertheless, there is increasing concern that biocontrol is often ineffective or possibly unsafe. In February 2005, I outlined research to support a Code of Best Practices for Biological Weed Control. In September 2005, I shared findings on how an insect disease caused by a microsporidian Nosema might mitigate harm by the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaea (Arctiidae), introduced to North America for biological control of ragwort Senecio jacobaea (Asteraceae) and now found to be attacking native herbs. We now have an improved scientific basis for the policy and management decisions in biological control. 2. Integrating research, technology, and policy related to control of invasive plant species. Two important issues facing science and society are maintaining global biodiversity and the ecosystem services needed to support human life. In 2005, we continued our investigation linking nutrient enrichment, primary productivity, invasion by introduced species, and loss of biodiversity in wetlands in Oregon and surrounding states. We show that wetland plants in our area are generally limited by nitrogen. Increasing N is associated with an increase in productivity (standing crop) and increases in productivity (standing crop) are associated with decreasing plant diversity. Increasing N also favors two invasive species purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), perhaps because these two invaders have superior colonizing and/or competitive abilities. The loss of wetland diversity due to enrichment and invasion may undermine ecosystem services such as controlling floods and cleansing water of pollutants. One way to counter the threat of invasive species is through biological control. We used the introduction of two chrysomelid beetles, Galerucella calmariensis and G. pusilla, to North America for biological control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) as an opportunity to measure, model, and optimize range expansion of these biological control organisms. We show that damage by these insects increases linearly with their density during the exponential phase of population growth; damage may thus be used a surrogate for density when estimating increase and spread of the insect populations. We further show that local range expansion by these insects can be predicted from simple reaction-diffusion models incorporating random movement and exponential growth. Finally, we show that rates of range expansion can be increased 1000-fold by human intervention orchestrated by state and federal government to redistribute control organisms to new areas, thus extending and complementing autonomous spread by the insects. With this information, autonomous and anthropogenic components of spatial spread can be combined to optimize the rate of range expansion.

Impacts
Harmful, non-indigenous plant species invade Oregon, threatening agriculture, waterways, native ecosystems, and even human health. This research is helping to reduce harm from invasive plant species through the use of biological control. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of the twelve worst noxious weeds in the state is $67 million annually. Three of the 12 worst weeds (ragwort, purple loosestrife, and rush skeleton weed) currently have detailed research programs in our laboratory. Oregon has the largest portfolio of biological weed control systems in the nation, numbering 71 control organism species for 31 weed species. Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, a weed of roadsides, pastures, and grasslands has been successfully controlled by biological methods. Assuming that at least half of the benefits calculated for controlling ragwort at its peak can be attributed to this research, then annual benefits to Oregon growers and livestock producers amount to $3 million/year. Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invader of wetlands, is being controlled by four introduced insect species distributed across invested sites in Oregon and the rest of the USA.

Publications

  • Schooler,S.S., and P.B. McEvoy. 2006. Relationship between insect density and plant damage for the golden loosestrife beetle, Galerucella pusilla, on purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Biological Control 36:100-105.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2005. Biological control of invasive plant species step by step. Invasive Species Management: Assessing and Addressing Threats to Oregon Wildlife and Habitats, 22-23 February 2005, LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Karacetin, E., D. J. Bruck, and P. B. McEvoy. 2005. Effect of a pathogen on host range of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae, Arctiidae). International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods 12-16 September 2005, Davos, Switzerland.
  • Min, M., M. Gopinath, S. Buccola, and P. B. McEvoy. 2005. State Noxious Weed Seed Regulations: Economic or Scientific Decisions. Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) Review and Workshop 20-21 October 2005, Washington, D.C.
  • Morre, S., and P. B. McEvoy. 2005. Impact of an invader on plant diversity. Meeting of the False-brome Working Group, 13 October 2005, Siuslaw National Forest, Corvallis, Oregon.


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
1. Reviewing and improving the regulatory framework for classical biological control of invasive plant species. Classical weed biocontrol is subject to some of the strictest evaluations currently made in the United States for planned release of alien organisms, and it has been held to a higher safety standard than biocontrol of insects and other arthropods. Nevertheless, there is increasing concern that biocontrol is often ineffective or possibly unsafe. In January 2004, I met with representatives from the USA and abroad in Denver, CO to review and revise the regulatory framework for biological weed control in the United States. I contributed a case study of the decisions to introduce and redistribute the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaea (Arctiidae) in North America for biological control of ragwort Senecio jacobaea (Asteraceae). By reviewing the history and implications of a series of biological control decisions related to the cinnabar moth, I show how science, technology, public policy, and societal concerns about the environment have co-evolved during the 20th century. I conclude there is ample scope for improving the scientific basis for the policy and management decisions in biological control. 2. Discovering the causes and consequences of disparities in federal and state noxious weed lists. In 2004, we began an investigation seeking to discover the determinants and welfare implications of federal and state noxious weed lists. Noxious weeds are considered to be invasive species since they are nonnative, alien, or exotic to the ecosystem under consideration, and when introduced, cause, or are likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Differences among state noxious-weed lists are surprisingly high. Disparities may possibly be related to differences in regional ecosystems, agronomic conditions, or conflicting interests in regional economies. Seed producers may benefit from the price protection afforded by invasive species barriers. Commodity producers face a tradeoff between higher seed costs and lower risks of invasive weed outbreaks. Consumers may similarly have conflicting interests :import regulations may raise food prices if they enhance local producer power, but also may help preserve the environment. The likelihood, therefore, is significant that noxious weed lists distort commodity and seed trade flows in a welfare-impairing manner despite the legitimate protection they afford to farming and local biospheres. 3. Integrating research, technology, and policy related to control of invasive plant species. In 2004, we contributed to a book reviewing the discipline of biological control of invasive terrestrial and aquatic plants. The book (1) reflects a collaboration of 63 authors representing 10 universities, five federal agencies, four private organizations, and four overseas agencies, and (2) provides information on 39 target plants in the continental USA and 94 agents, including their origin, biology, habitat, impacts and distribution, and (3) promises to be a valuable reference for managers of natural resources and invasive plants.

Impacts
Harmful, non-indigenous plant species invade Oregon, threatening agriculture, waterways, native ecosystems, and even human health. This research is helping to reduce harm from invasive plant species through the use of biological control. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of the twelve worst noxious weeds in the state is $67 million annually. Three of the 12 worst weeds (ragwort, purple loosestrife, and rush skeleton weed) currently have detailed research programs in our laboratory. Oregon has the largest portfolio of biological weed control systems in the nation, numbering 71 control organism species for 31 weed species. Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, a weed of roadsides, pastures, and grasslands has been successfully controlled by biological methods. Assuming that at least half of the benefits calculated for controlling ragwort at its peak can be attributed to this research, then annual benefits to Oregon growers and livestock producers amount to $3 million/year. Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invader of wetlands, is being controlled by four introduced insect species distributed across invested sites in Oregon and the rest of the USA.

Publications

  • Coombs, E. M., P. B. McEvoy, and G. P. Markin. 2004. Tansy ragwort, Senecio jacobaea, Sunflower family - Asteraceae. Pages 335-344 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Coombs, E. M., S. S. Schooler, and P. B. McEvoy. 2004. Nontarget Impacts of Biological Control Agents. Pages 106-113 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Piper, G. L., E. M. Coombs, B. Blossey, P. B. McEvoy, and S. S. Schooler. 2004. Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, Loosestrife family - Lythraceae. Pages 281-292 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.
  • Schooler, S. S., P. B. McEvoy, and E. M. Coombs. 2004. The Ecology of Biological Control. Pages 15-26 in E. M. Coombs, J. K. Clark, G. L. Piper, and A. Cofrancesco, editors. Biological control of invasive plants in the United States. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
GOAL A: IMPORT AND ESTABLISH EFFECTIVE NATURAL ENEMIES (CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL) Objective A5 Release, establish, and redistribute natural enemies In 2003, the blunt knapweed flower weevil (Larinus obtusus) for control of Meadow knapweed (Centaurea pratensis) on 75 sites in 4 Oregon counties (Polk, Lane, Douglas, Benton), blanketing the area of infestation in western Oregon. In 2003, OR investigators continued decade-long studies on biological control of purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria by monitoring the release-and-establishment and the increase-and-spread of four control organism species (Galerucella pusilla, G. calmariensis, Hylobius transversovittatus, and Nanophyes marmoratus), plus weed suppression and plant succession. Low establishment rates in the lower Columbia River Estuary (associated with islands that experience monthly fresh water tidal inundation) are being improved by concentrating on the most flood-tolerant agent Hylobius transversovittatus. In 2003, preparations were made for release of a new biological agent, a root-feeding moth (Bradyrrhoa gilveolella: Pyralidae) for the control rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncacea) by mapping and monitoring of the skeletonweed populations at 3 release-sites in Douglas Co. OR. In 2003, OR investigators continued development of a web-based database on biological weed control for the Western United States to (1) speed delivery of biological control users to users seeking to match control organisms and targets, (2) develop specific measures of quality spanning the entire course of a biological control program, from diagnosing weed problems to finding a cure, and (3) assemble quantitative information essential for defining and predicting biocontrol success. We expanded the scope to collect, review, and assess information on biological weed control in the 48 contiguous United States. We include information on taxonomic and functional classification, weed and agent distribution, weed and agent abundance, agent attack rate, agent control potential, and agent-availability for redistribution. Objective A6 Evaluate natural enemy efficacy In 2003, OR investigators began greenhouse experiments measuring preference and performance of Larinus obtusus in relation to each of its two main host plants, meadow knapweed C. pratensis and spotted knapweed C. stoebe. GOAL D: EVALUATE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL D14 Evaluate the environmental impacts of biocontrol In 2003, OR investigators continued investigation of non-target effects of the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaea, an agent introduced to NA for control of ragwort Senecio jacobaea in 1959. Forty years later, the caterpillars of this species are found feeding on nontarget plants, including an ornamental herb, dusty miller Senecio bicolor var cinerarea, and native wildflowers in the genera Senecio, Packera, and closely allied genera. Nevertheless, lab and field studies show that attacks on nontarget plants, while possible, are of low probability and limited consequences.

Impacts
Harmful, non-indigenous plant species invade Oregon, threatening agriculture, waterways, native ecosystems, and even human health. This research is helping to reduce harm from invasive plant species through the use of biological control. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of the twelve worst noxious weeds in the state is $67 million annually. Three of the 12 worst weeds (ragwort, purple loosestrife, and rush skeleton weed) currently have detailed research programs in our laboratory. Oregon has the largest portfolio of biological weed control systems in the nation, numbering 71 control organism species for 31 weed species. Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, a weed of roadsides, pastures, and grasslands has been successfully controlled by biological methods. Assuming that at least half of the benefits calculated for controlling ragwort at its peak can be attributed to this research, then annual benefits to Oregon growers and livestock producers amount to $3 million/year. Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, an invader of wetlands, is being controlled by four introduced insect species distributed across invested sites in Oregon and the rest of the USA.

Publications

  • McEvoy, P. B. 2003. Role of ecology in selecting target species and agents for biological control. in J. M. Cullen, editor. XI Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia.
  • McEvoy, P. B. 2003. Population and community approaches to biological control of invasive plant species using insects. in Invasive Plants in Natural and Managed Systems: Linking Science and Management and 7th International Conference on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions, Wyndham Bonaventure Resort, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Schooler, S. S., E. M. Coombs, and P. B. McEvoy. 2003. Nontarget effects on crepe myrtle by Galerucella pusilla and G. calmariensis (Chrysomelidae), used for biological control of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Weed Science 51:449-455.