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Title: Release and establishment of Hydrellia balciunasi (Diptera: Ephydridae) for the biological control of the submersed aquatic plant Hydrilla verticillata (Hydrocharitaceae) in the United States
Authors: United States. Agricultural Research Service.
Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (U.S.)
Grodowitz, Michael Jay.
Cofrancesco, Alfred F.
Freedman, Jan E.
Center, Ted D.
Keywords: Aquatic plants
Insect releases
Aquatic weeds
Classical biological control
Submersed weeds
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Miscellaneous Paper
Abstract: The Australian leaf-mining fly, Hydrellia balciunasi, was first released as a biological control agent for the management of the submersed aquatic plant Hydrilla verticillata in August 1989 in southern Florida. Since then, 284,684 individuals have been released at seven Florida and four Texas sites. Despite this effort, populations have persisted at just two Texas sites: Sheldon Reservoir near Houston and Lake Raven in Huntsville State Park. Hydrellia balciunasi levels have remained relatively low at these sites, averaging, at best, less than 1,000 immatures/kilogram wet plant weight All other collections were substantially lower. Reasons for poor establishment are unknown but probably relate to a complex of factors, including competition with another introduced leaf-mining species, parasitism by native wasps, poor host quality, genetic differences between Australian and United States hydrilla resulting in mismatched physiological strains of agent and host plant, and possibly inbreeding depression in laboratory colonies used for releases.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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