Abstract: Saltcedar Biocontrol Releases
Work with the saltcedar leaf beetle, Diorhabda elongata deserticola, has proceeded according to a plan drawn up by the Consortium for the Biological Control of Saltcedar. This plan was a response to USFWS concerns about potential effects of immediate, widespread insect releases on the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Work within secure field cages began in 1997 in Pueblo and additional sites followed. Open field releases occurred at all selected sites in spring 2001. Now, after three full field seasons, most sites where this insect can survive are reporting large increases in beetle populations, noticeable defoliation of saltcedar, and expanded areas of beetle infestation. Due to the novelty of notable defoliation in the field, long-term effects on the trees are not yet known.
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Placed on the Internet: November 2, 2003 11:39 AM
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Curtis E. Swift, Area Extension Agent, Horticulture
Colorado State Extension
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