BioControl (2018) 63, 333-347
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Weed biological control in the European Union: from serendipity to strategy
BioControl 63 (3), 333-347
Abstract: Biological control of weeds is a globally recognised approach to the management of some of the most troublesome invasive plants in the world. Accidental introductions of agents accounted for all weed biological control agent establishments in the European Union until 2010, but these examples include some current or emerging control successes both large and small, from the redistribution of the weevil Stenopelmus rufinasus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the control of small outbreaks of Azolla filiculoides Lam. (Azollaceae), to the large scale control provided by the cochineal insect Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae), used against some problematic prickly pears (Opuntia spp. (Cactaceae)), and the ragweed beetle Ophraella communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), against common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (Asteraceae), which are providing benefits to an increasing number of Member States of the European Union. Recent programmes involving the intentional introduction of biological control agents against target weeds including Fallopia japonica (Hout.) Ronse Decr. (Polygonaceae), Impatiens glandulifera Royle (Balsaminaceae) and Acacia longifolia (Andrews) Willd (Fabaceae) show a shift from luck to judgement in the European Union. The inclusion of new weed targets on the European Invasive Species Regulation should lead to a growth in the profile and use of biological control which would be assisted by the publication of any successes from the few intentional introductions covered in this paper.
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Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists: