Invasives: "Lake Erie wetlands clear of invasive plant with beetles' help."

Discussion in 'Plants: Conservation' started by togata57, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Lake Erie wetlands clear of invasive plant with beetles' help.

    From The Columbus Dispatch, January 24, 2010
    by John Switzer
    jswitzer@dispatch.com

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  2. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Sounds like a good idea. We have seen cases of introducing species to control an invasive introduced speices before, and sometimes it backfires, and the 'control species' itself becomes a pest.
    I hope this is true, and if so, good job! Great idea!
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, I thought so too! Hooray!

    Have an urge to get ahold of Windus and/or Sherman to find out the NAME of this beetle.
    Also, would like to know what beetle-savvy wildlife person thought of this, and the administrators who approved the idea and got it done. All deserve gold-plated commendations on the statehouse steps.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Almost certainly 1 (or both) species of Galurecella (via Cornell University), aka leaf-feeding beetles.

    While living in the US a dozen years ago, I volunteered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to collect Galurecella larvae and adults from one population of loosestrife (that had already been successfully saved by the beetles) for transport to another population of loosestrife within the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge.

    More:

    Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife: A Guide for Rearing Leaf-feeding Beetles from the University of Minnesota Extension.

    What happens to the Galerucella beetles when the purple loosestrife plants are all gone? (PDF) via InvadingSpecies.com
     
  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    The heartache of purple loosestrife, of course, is that it is such a beautiful plant. It really brightens up otherwise drab-looking patches, like roadside ditches, with its jewel-purple blooms.

    I was once commanded, more or less, by the editor of a regional magazine to which I'm a contributing editor to write an article celebrating this detested plant. It was a challenging job. I placed calls everywhere hoping to find some authority willing to say, "Well, you know, it's not really so bad, ecologically speaking," or something to that effect. You can imagine how fruitful this was.

    I hope this beetle really is the magic bullet. And I hope similar solutions can be found for things like kudzu and hydrilla. And that, as KevinD says above, the "control" species do not themselves turn out to be ineradicable pests. (And, to stray slightly off topic, that the Tea Partiers do not seize control of the U.S. and declare open war on environmentalists.)
     

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