Biological control for weeds in Ireland with reference to JK & HB Dick Shaw & Rob Tanner- CABI
Format • Brief introduction to CABI and invasives • Biocontrol – types, history and examples • Azolla weevil • Japanese knotweed: and the psyllid • Himalayan Balsam • Floating Pennywort
What/who is CABI? • Formerly the Commonwealth Agriculture Bureaux International, Origins back to 1910. • 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
CABI centre CABI member country Our member countries and centres
Our mission • CABI improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE
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”)
IAS CBD Commitments • PREVENT, ERADICATE or CONTROL • What about the really big problems we already have?
3 Categories of Biological Control Conservation - Protection and maintenance of existing Natural Enemies (NEs) Inundative - a.k.a the “Mycoherbicide Approach” using native pathogens for repeated application Classical - Using Co-evolved (highly specific) NEs from the area of origin of the plant to provide self-sustaining control after a single release.
Prickly pear in Australia 50 million hectares of it in New South Wales
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) Is It Safe?
Stenopelmus rufinasus No stranger to biocontrol
Bracken P. aquilinum C. cinsigna tested against 71 spp. • P. angularis tested against 54 spp.
Symptoms of the Fungal Pathogen Phloeospora heraclei Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
“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
Fallopia japonicavar. japonica Bailey syn. Reynoutria japonica Houttuyn syn. Polygonum cuspidatum Siebold & Zucc. F. sachalinensis(Giant knotweed) F. x bohemica(hybrid) Japanese knotweed(s) Courtesy of Japanese kntoweed manual Child & Wade
Phase 2 sponsors AAFC BC
Very wide range of “Japanese knotweeds” in Japan. Often hard to tell apart.
Many insects feeding on most parts 186 species of phytophagous arthropod recorded from Japanese knotweed in Japan. Remarkably only one generalist root feeder of note
Mycosphaerella polygoni-cuspidati Leafspot fungus- so common that it is included in the Flora of Japan
40㎛ 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
Macro/microscopic analysis F. Conollyana P. maritimum F.japonica • 60 plant spp tested (mainly mycelium) • no symptoms on F. sachalinensis & F. compacta • 21 N. American species tested to some degree – still promising F x bohemica
DISMISSED Endoclyta excrescens