Navigation Links
CU, USDA team to curb two invasive, poisonous vines

With no known enemies in North America, two types of invasive vines are growing rampant in forests and fields, threatening reforestation, fragile butterfly populations and bird habitats.

The vines are pale and black swallow-wort, and to find a biological control to stem the growth of and their steady conquest of local ecosystems in the northern United States and Canada, Cornell University is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), which operates a federal laboratory at Cornell.

Pale and black swallow-wort -- twining vines recently classified as invasive species and members of the milkweed family -- have rapidly spread since the mid-1990s. The plants are lethal hosts for monarch butterfly larvae and alter ground cover and affect habitat for grassland birds. And, if that is not enough, the plants are growing with increasing vigor in some maize and soybean fields and are altering forest regeneration patterns.

Native populations of pale swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum) in Ukraine and black swallow-wort (V. nigrum) in southwestern Europe are kept in check, though, by native natural enemies. Natural enemies to plants often include moth caterpillars, beetles, flies and diseases.

"They've been here more than 100 years but have exploded in the last 10 to 15 years, and it will still be a minimum of 10 years before we can even release a natural enemy to control their growth," said Antonio DiTommaso, associate professor of weed science at Cornell.

"The collaboration between Cornell and the USDA involves studies of the plants' biology to identify weak links in the life cycle that should be targeted, if possible, for biological control," said Lindsey Milbrath, a USDA-ARS research entomologist at Cornell, adding that introducing any agent will require federal approval. "Our research will help guide the selection of an effective agent."

Milbrath, whose funding fro m USDA supports the Cornell collaboration on a three-year project, is working with researchers at a USDA facility in Montpellier, France, and other colleagues who are working in Ukraine and southwestern Europe to identify the plants' natural enemies.

The plants contain strong poisons, which likely limit natural enemies. Deer and cattle do not eat them. Researchers also are finding that pale swallow-wort may be replacing milkweeds in open fields in New York state and across the Northeast coast, within the migratory range of monarch butterflies. The monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, and their larvae eat it as a primary food. Studies have shown that when the monarchs lay their eggs on pale or black swallow-wort, the larvae die within three days.

DiTommaso and his graduate students are investigating whether the plants release root chemicals that alter soil conditions. Preliminary findings suggest that communities of mycorrhizae -- soil fungi that help provide more nutrients to plant roots -- differ in species and abundance in areas surrounding swallow-worts.

"It could be that swallow-worts release chemicals that make an optimal environment for certain mycorrhizal fungi," said DiTommaso.

Through the altered soil, or possibly because of chemicals directly released by the swallow-worts, other plant species have a hard time establishing themselves wherever swallow-worts grow, DiTommaso said.

The pink-flowered pale swallow-wort grows rapidly in both forest understories and in open fields of undisturbed soil throughout central and upstate New York, around the Great Lakes and in Canada. The purple-flowered black swallow-wort prefers open areas and have a foothold in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, southern New York and the New England coast.

Like the common milkweed, swallow-worts release lightweight seeds with featherlike tails that are dispersed by wind and passing deer. Interestingly, between two to eight plants can germin ate from each seed.


'"/>

Source:Cornell University News Service


Related biology news :

1. Lead with a poisonous electron shield
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: