Navigation Links
Invasive Saltcedar Triggers Lively Debate among Weed Scientists and Land Managers
Date:8/24/2009

This release from the Weed Science Society of America highlights a recent debate among weed scientists about how -- or even whether -- invasive saltcedar should be controlled. The Society contends that ongoing scientific research is vital so we can answer critical questions about our natural ecosystems and carefully weigh the impact of our decisions.

Lawrence, KS (PRWEB) August 24, 2009 -- Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) is an invasive plant that is crowding out native vegetation and dominating the shorelines of southwestern rivers and streams. But put a room full of weed scientists and land managers together to discuss how to tame the aggressive plant and you'll trigger a lively debate about how - or even whether - it should be controlled.

That was the experience during a recent symposium on the biological control of invasive plants that was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Western Society of Weed Science.

According to a symposium presentation by Dr. Allen Knutson of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University, saltcedar was introduced in the Southwest for erosion control. It found an accommodating home in the region's river systems and spread fast with seasonal flooding. Over time, riverside and streamside landscapes of cottonwood, willow, native grasses and flowering plants were pushed aside by wide ribbons of saltcedar.

"Though the full impact of such a drastic change in the natural landscape will probably never be fully understood, there are some well-documented outcomes from the spread of saltcedar," Knutson said. "Because of its dense growth pattern, it consumes large quantities of water and can impact rivers, lakes and desert waterholes. It lowers groundwater levels and has been known to deplete ponds and streams to the detriment of fish and wildlife."

In an attempt to restore natural river ecosystems, both targeted aerial applications of herbicides and labor-intensive mechanical operations have been used to remove saltcedar, sometimes with long-term success. Now land managers are adding new biological control agents to their arsenal by releasing saltcedar leaf beetles (Diorhabda elongata) imported from China and Greece. The small insects strip saltcedar of its leaves, while ignoring native vegetation.

"Symposium participants had a spirited debate about whether release of a biological control for saltcedar in the Southwest is a good idea or a bad one," said April Fletcher of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "But I believe everyone left the symposium with a greater appreciation of how complex the issues of saltcedar control are, and how many questions remain unanswered."

Many of those unanswered questions involved the ecosystem of the Southwest. If saltcedar is removed, will native species return? Or have groundwater levels and flooding patterns been changed so much as a result of human activities that the original cottonwood galleries will be unable to grow? If saltcedar stands are controlled, what will happen to wildlife species that now depend on the shrub for nesting sites, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)? Participants also had lots of questions about the potential for unintended consequences from the voracious saltcedar leaf beetle.

"Though we've made great progress in controlling some of the nation's most destructive plants and weeds, the debate over saltcedar shows ongoing research is vital," said Lee Van Wychen, science policy director for the Weed Science Society of America. "Taking a science-based approach can help us answer critical questions about our natural ecosystems and carefully weigh the impact of the decisions we make."

For a closer look at symposium presentations on saltcedar, biological control strategies and other topics, visit http://www.wsweedscience.org/Slides/slides.asp.

About the Weed Science Society of America:
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit professional society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, and fosters awareness of weeds and their impacts on managed and natural ecosystems. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.

Editor's Note:
A photo of the saltcedar leaf beetle is available for download at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/mar00/k8836-1.htm.

A photo of saltcedar is available for download at http://www.invasive.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=6515.

###

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/08/prweb2778594.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Initiates Second Registrational Phase 3 Clinical Trial for EOquin(R) in Patients With Non-Invasive Bladder Cancer
2. Cheetah Medicals NICOM Non-Invasive Cardiac Output Monitor Featured in a Presentation at the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Annual Meeting
3. InSightec Resumes Clinical Trials for Non-Invasive Treatment of Brain Tumors
4. Masimo Launches Patient SafetyNet and Showcases the Rainbow SET Upgradable Noninvasive Monitoring Platform at 2007 ASA Annual Meeting
5. Microfabrica Introduces Set of Miniature Building Blocks for Minimally-Invasive Medical Devices
6. Masimo Announces Continuous Noninvasive Total Hemoglobin
7. Minimally Invasive Treatment Offers Hope for Liver Cancer Patients
8. Biocept Launches Noninvasive Prenatal Rh(D) Diagnostic at Annual ACOG Scientific Meeting
9. Simbionix Takes Non-Invasive GYN Surgical Training to the Next Level
10. Fungitell(R) CE Marked, Referenced in IDSA and NCCN Guidelines and Added to EORTC-MSG Revised Definitions of Invasive Fungal Disease
11. BugLab Launches Noninvasive Biomass Monitor for Continuous, On-Line Measurements
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers ... the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of ... beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... ISTANBUL , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control ... to seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):