Waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free-floating aquatic plant native to South America that has infested freshwater ecosystems from North Carolina to California but is especially problematic in the southeastern United States.
The plant is a real menace, affecting water traffic, water quality, infrastructure for pumping and hydroelectric operations, water use and biodiversity. Other problems include fish kills due to low oxygen levels and increases in populations of vectors of human and animal diseases.
ARS entomologists Philip Tipping and Ted Center, both with the agency's Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (IPRL) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., worked closely with scientists at the ARS South American Biological Control Laboratory (SABCL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to find and test Megamelus scutellaris, a new biocontrol for waterhyacinth.
M. scutellaris is a small planthopper native to South America whose nymphs and adults feed on the sap of waterhyacinth. Nymphs are active and readily hop, even off the surface of the water. The insect's population increases rapidly, which will enable it to quickly impact the waterhyacinth population.
Herbicides are the primary method for reducing waterhyacinth, but their use directly interferes with the biocontrol agents currently deployed against this weed. The scientists believe M. scutellaris may integrate better with existing herbicide programs because of its mobility, which should improve its survival in such highly managed systems.
The researchers collected adults of M. scutellaris from Argentina in April 2006 and brought them to the quarantine facility in Ft. Lauderdale where extensive host-range studies were conducted. They found that the planthopper is highly host-specific and does not pose a threat to native or economically important species.
Tipping and Center will join representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which provided more than $300,000 in financial support for the project, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at an event celebrating the insect's release today at the Edgefield Regional Stormwater Treatment Facility owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District near Palatka, Fla.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Stephanie Yao | EurekAlert!
How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences