CABI experts in the field of classical biological control are leading the fight to manage one of the UK’s most invasive weeds – Himalayan balsam – thanks to the nationwide release of the rust fungus Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae.
Dr Carol Ellison, who has over 30 years’ experience of the biological control of weeds using fungal pathogens, told a specially convened NERC-sponsored workshop on Himalayan Balsam at Royal Holloway, University of London, the rust release programme is progressing well but new strains are required in order to achieve countrywide control.
Dr Seehausen, a research scientist in risk analysis and invasion ecology based at CABI’s Swiss centre in Delémont, said a biological control agent – the parasitoid Ganaspis cf. brasiliensis – could soon be released to manage the invasive pest in Europe.
CABI scientist Dr Marc Kenis has joined an international team of researchers who have identified 66 alien species – not yet established in the European Union – that pose the greatest threat to European biodiversity and ecosystems as outlined in a new paper published today in the journal Global Change Biology.
Last week CABI launched the full version of its invasive species Horizon Scanning Tool, a free and open access online resource available via the Invasive Species Compendium that helps users make decisions about invasive species and identify possible risks in countries, provinces and states.
CABI scientists have made the first discovery of the Asian samurai wasp Trissolcus japonicus – a natural enemy that kills the eggs of the the invasive fruit and nut pest brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) – in Europe.
Judith Stahl and Dr Tim Haye led an international team of researchers, including those from the University of Turin and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, who used DNA analysis to confirm the wasp – which is native to China, Japan and Korea – was found in Switzerland in 2017.
CABI’s experts in the biological control of agricultural pests and diseases have conducted the first major study of potential biological controls that could be used in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm which recently arrived in Africa.
CABI scientists are stepping up the fight against one of the UK’s most invasive non-native aquatic weeds.
Approval has been given for the release of a novel biological control agent – the mite, Aculuscrassulae – to assess its ability in the real-world environment to suppress Australian swamp stonecrop (Crassula helmsii), also known as New Zealand pigmyweed. This follows carefully controlled laboratory testing to ensure the safe, controlled release of the mite in the UK.