19 November 2014 The Japanese Knotweed Alliance, of which CABI is a partner, today launched its new-look website. With updated content, design and navigation, the website makes it even easier to find information about the Alliances research of biological or natural control of Japanese knotweed in Great Britain: http://www.cabi.org/japaneseknotweedalliance/
Japanese knotweed is one of Great Britains most destructive non-native, invasive weeds. It can grow more than a metre a month and is famed for pushing through tarmac, concrete and drains. Its effect on native species is often devastating, as it out-competes indigenous species covering large tracts of land to the exclusion of the native flora and associated fauna.
In 2001, a consortium of partners were brought together to form a Japanese knotweed project management board. The aim of the board was to oversee a scientific research programme, which examined the potential for biological or natural control of Japanese knotweed in Great Britain. CABI was contracted to undertake research on behalf of the project board. CABI scientists have been conducting research into potential natural control agents to combat Japanese knotweed since 2000. This work entailed the collection, identification and selection of Japanese knotweed’s natural enemies, like the sap-sucking psyllid Aphalara itadori seen in the picture above. This psyllid is capable of causing significant damage to the target weed. Potential agents were assessed in a Defra-licensed quarantine facility and all work was carried out according to international protocols.
For the latest progress information on Japanese knotweed, see: Progress with weed biocontrol projects