Invasive species data
Invasive species are causing species extinction. We are trying to address this problem by providing sound scientific information that will be used by endangered species managers to improve their efforts to recover listed and candidate species affected by invasive species. The information will also be used by invasive species managers to control invasive species that are causing species extinction in the USA.
Biological control of flowering rush
Attractive pink flowers make the Eurasian plant flowering rush a popular aquatic ornamental. But since it was introduced to North America it has become an aggressive invader of freshwater systems in the midwestern/ western USA and western Canada. One likely reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that keep it in check in its area of origin. CABI is searching for natural enemies that could be introduced to reduce its vigour and spread in North America.
Protecting North America’s wetlands from common reed
Common reed is one of the most widespread plant species in the world. It is invasive in North America where it forms large monocultures in wetlands and along riverbanks and lakesides, which reduce native biodiversity. One reason for its dominance is an absence of natural enemies to check its vigour and spread. CABI is studying several stem-mining moths not currently present in North America to see whether they would be safe and effective biological control agents if introduced.
Biological control of perennial pepperweed in the United States
Weeds like perennial pepperweed that have creeping root systems and prolific seed production are among the most difficult to control. This Eurasian mustard plant was accidentally introduced into North America with crop seed. One reason why it has become an invasive weed could be the absence of natural enemies that attack it in its area of origin. CABI is seeking to identify specialist natural enemies from Eurasia that can be introduced into North America as biological control agents.
Biological control of oxeye daisy
Although closely related, Oxeye daisy is an invasive weed in places like North America and Australia, while Shasta daisy remains a garden favourite, especially in North America. CABI is investigating whether specialist natural enemies from oxeye daisy’s area of origin in Eurasia could be introduced in North America and Australia as biological control agents. In North America the popularity of Shasta daisy makes this a challenge because any introduced agent must damage oxeye daisy but not Shasta daisy.
Hope for biological control of houndstongue in the USA?
An invasive weed with close relatives among native species is a challenge for biological control. Houndstongue was introduced accidentally to North America from Eurasia in the mid-19th century. It has since invaded most Canadian provinces and adjacent US states. There are many native plants in the USA in the same family as houndstongue. CABI staff in Switzerland are investigating specialized natural enemies in the area of origin of the weed that could be introduced as biological control agents.