natural enemies natural solutions

Steps towards controlling weeds with Natural Enemies; Exlopre feasibility, survey weed in-country, select suitable agent, seek permission to introduce, seek permission to introduce, import rear and release, evaluate success of the project

Over 352 herbivores have now been intentionally introduced into new regions as weed biological control agents. Recent evidence shows that rapid and significant evolution in host specificity can occur. The risk of non target use by biological control agents increasing to unacceptable levels through rapid evolution therefore needs to be considered.

Biological control of weeds has been conducted since 1902, resulting in over 500 biological control agents being internationally released against nearly 200 weed species in over 90 countries.

A persistent problem in weed biocontrol is how to reliably predict whether a plant that supports development in laboratory host-specificity testing will be utilized in field conditions, and this is undoubtedly preventing releases of safe and effective agents.