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Biological control for weeds in Ireland with reference to JK & HB Dick Shaw & Rob Tanner- CABI.

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Presentation on theme: "Biological control for weeds in Ireland with reference to JK & HB Dick Shaw & Rob Tanner- CABI."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biological control for weeds in Ireland with reference to JK & HB Dick Shaw & Rob Tanner- CABI

2 Format Brief introduction to CABI and invasives Biocontrol – types, history and examples Azolla weevil Japanese knotweed: and the psyllid Himalayan Balsam Floating Pennywort

3 What/who is CABI? Formerly the Commonwealth Agriculture Bureaux International, Origins back to UN-Treaty level, not-for profit intergovernmental organisation owned by its 45 member countries CABI includes the former International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC) and 3 other institutes

4 CABI centre CABI member country Our member countries and centres

5 Our mission CABI improves peoples lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE

6 CABI Publishing Abstracts – environment, agriculture, tourism 7 million abstracts (10,000 free text added/yr) Books - 60 new titles/year Invasive Species Compendium >1,000 species included so far (hopefully open access if final funding can be found) £20 million turnover Only 5% of our income is from member contributions (core funding)

7 IAS CBD Commitments PREVENT, ERADICATE or CONTROL What about the really big problems we already have?

8 Plants are often the worst invaders

9 What is Biological Control?


11 Broom in New Zealand

12 3 Categories of Biological Control Conservation - Protection and maintenance of existing Natural Enemies (NEs) Classical - Using Co-evolved (highly specific) NEs from the area of origin of the plant to provide self-sustaining control after a single release. Inundative - a.k.a the Mycoherbicide Approach using native pathogens for repeated application

13 Rhododendron ponticum


15 Buddleia pathogens

16 What is Classsical Biological Control?

17 NOT The Cane Toad


19 Prickly pear in Australia 50 million hectares of it in New South Wales

20 Before

21 After


23 Rubber vine weed


25 Is It Safe? Over 1,000 releases of biocontrol agents around the world >350 agents against 133 target weeds A century of research Any non-target effects are predictable by the vigorous safety testing An International code of conduct 8 examples of non-target effects (7 of which predicted or predictable with current approaches)

26 EU Activity CountryRecipientSource Austria048 Finland05 France0111 Germany046 Greece029 Italy071 Portugal018 Spain09 Sweden03 UK041 Total0381

27 Stenopelmus rufinasus No stranger to biocontrol

28 Before

29 After

30 Bracken P. aquilinum C. cinsigna tested against 71 spp. P. angularis tested against 54 spp.


32 Symptoms of the Fungal Pathogen Phloeospora heraclei Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)


34 The site is a challenge. We have identified unexploded wartime bombs and Japanese knotweed……….. the bombs we can deal with Head of London Development Agency on the subject of the 2012 Olympic site

35 Japanese knotweed(s) Fallopia japonica var. japonica Bailey syn. Reynoutria japonica Houttuyn syn. Polygonum cuspidatum Siebold & Zucc. F. sachalinensis (Giant knotweed) F. x bohemica (hybrid) Courtesy of Japanese kntoweed manual Child & Wade

36 Phase 2 sponsors AAFC BC

37 Very wide range of Japanese knotweeds in Japan. Often hard to tell apart.



40 186 species of phytophagous arthropod recorded from Japanese knotweed in Japan. Remarkably only one generalist root feeder of note Many insects feeding on most parts

41 Photo – Prof K. Yano

42 Field observations

43 The Japanese team in their temperate glasshouse with stock plants


45 Pathogens

46 Leafspot fungus- so common that it is included in the Flora of Japan Mycosphaerella polygoni- cuspidati

47 Life cycle Microcyclic or reduced life cycle - only functional spores are spermatia and ascospores Primary source of infection is ascospores, no anamorph or macroconidial stage found No ascomata produced in vivo or in vitro despite varied humidity regimes+agar media trials Mycelial infection found to be comparable in lab 40

48 Macro/microscopic analysis P. maritimum F. Conollyana F.japonica F x bohemica 60 plant spp tested (mainly mycelium) no symptoms on F. sachalinensis & F. compacta 21 N. American species tested to some degree – still promising

49 Insects

50 DISMISSED Endoclyta excrescens

51 Allantus luctifer DISMISSED

52 Machiatella itadori

53 Lixus impressiventris



56 Ex P. hydropiper host Ex F. japonica host Can rear through on P. hydropiper but produced very small offspring – too few to establish a culture. Only ever seen on Japanese knotweed in Japan even when populations were very high indeed DISMISSED

57 Aphalara itadori






63 Egg1 st instar 2 nd instar 3 rd instar 4 th instar 5 th instar Complete life cycle Mean 1SE Range Detailed life cycle studies complete

64 Aphalara information Each female produces a mean of 637 eggs ± (±1SE, n = 11). The mean period of production is 37.5 days ± 5.85 days (±1SE, n = 11). Adults live up to 67 days

65 Family Genus Species Subtribe Tribe Centrifugal phylogenetic method: More closely related species more likely to be attacked than more distantly related ones

66 Test Plant List 90 species and varieties representatives from 19 families. All naïve Polygonaceae 37 plants natives 23 species introduced to the UK, 3 species native to Europe, 13 ornamental 10 economically important UK species

67 Bar chart showing mean egg count on those plants that did receive eggs in multiple choice oviposition tests. (+/- 1SE). Development only successful to the left of red line The 78 spp. that did not receive eggs are excluded

68 Aphalara adult survival

69 Extent of nymph development on NT hosts which have received eggs Request for more information from CSL as part of review of PRA Hand transferred nymphs Higher humidity than before 6 reps x 10 N1 nymphs = 60 individuals Increased survival on knotweed Risk of artificially increased survival on NTs

70 Nymph % survival over time

71 Muehlenbeckia complexa wire plant Garden thug (Clement & Forster, 1994) Weed in Australia US team have found same result for northern Ai strain with another congeneric

72 Aphalara summary Still happy in culture in the UK 87 species / varieties used so far, 3 rare spp. to go 145,172 eggs followed, 928 (0.64%) laid on non- targets but no development Nymph transfer development studies and target- absent oviposition studies largely support findings Adult no-choice starvation studies show very restricted range

73 Impact studies Leaf count Increase in height











84 Change in leaf number two weeks after spraying with sub-lethal dose of systemic herbicide following exposure to four levels of psyllid feeding Interaction with herbicide = Significant increase in leaf loss

85 Interaction with herbicide Reduction in leaf area

86 Japan 2007 Primarily Giant knotweed in Hokkaido and N. Honshu Collections of northern species for NA screening



89 R2= Dev Rate per day = Temp DD from egg to adult


91 Overwintering studies on Aphalara Lab showed survival on Bark, at 5 degrees after 8 weeks So can survive with no food at all. Field work – needle in a haystack


93 What next? Wildlife & Countryside application complete for England (Devolved Authorities version in prep.) Pest Risk Analysis complete Contingency and monitoring plan proposed External peer reviewers begun Public consultation Web (3 months) Stakeholder awareness raising (during above) Ministerial decision (last quarter 09?) Release if authorised (April 2010)

94 Impatiens spp.


96 2007






102 Floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides

103 Background Hydrocotyle ranunculoides is a serious invader of water bodies in the UK It is banned in Holland and a recent addition to the EPPO alert list 50km stretch was identified in Leicestershire canal Control is extremely difficult and the plant is still spreading





108 Listronotus elongatus



111 Multi choice 50 adults Heavy damage and egg laying on target, only trace feeding on native

112 EU opportunities Sheppard, Shaw & Sforza - Weed Research 2006 SpeciesFormOriginEU distributionGenus native?ConflictBC history Buddleja davidii PhChinaTemperateNo b OYes Fallopia japonica GeJapanTemperateYesNoYes Acacia dealbata PhAustraliaMediterraneanNo b OYes d Azolla filiculoides HyN AmericaTemp/MedNo b NoYes d Ailanthus altissima PhChinaTemp/MedNo b NoYes Impatiens glandulifera HeIndiaTemperateYesONo Rhododendron ponticum PhS EuropeTemp/MedYesO Robinia pseudoacacia PhN AmericaTemperateNoF Senecio inaequidens HeS AfricaTemp/MedYesNoYes Ambrosia artemisiifolia ThC AmericaTemp/MedYesNoYes d Carpobrotus edulis ChS AfricaTemp/MedNo b No Heracleum mantegazzianum HeW AsiaTemperateYesNoYes Solanum elaeagnifolium HeS AmericaTem/MedYesNoYes d Baccharis halimifolia PhN AmericaMediterraneanNo Yes d Hydrocotyle ranunculoides HyN AmericaTemp/MedYesNoYes Ludwigia peploides HeS AmericaTemp/MedYesNoYes Crassula helmsii HyAustralasiaTemperateYesNo Elodea canadensis HyN AmericaTemperateNo Myriophyllum aquaticum HyS AmericaTemp/MedYesNoYes Solidago canadensis GeN AmericaTemperateYesNo

113 Thank you Shaw, R.H., Bryner, S. & Tanner, R. (2009). The life history and host range of the Japanese knotweed psyllid, Aphalara itadori Shinji: potentially the first classical biological weed control agent for Europe. Biological Control 49: Kurose, D., Evans, H.C., Djeddour, D.H., Canon, P.F., Furuya, N. & Tsuchiya, K. (2009) Mycosphaerella species as potential biological control agents of the invasive weed Fallopia japonica. Mycoscience (in press) Sheppard, A.W., Shaw, R.H. & Sforza, R. (2006) Classical biological control of European exotic environmental weeds: The top 20 potential targets and the constraints. Weed Research 46 pp93-118

114 Himalayan knotweed Rapidly spreading in UK and N. America and very hard to control. Recent surveys in Pakistan revealed very promising agents……

115 Unidentified weevil and rust on Himalayan knotweed in Pakistan

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