Biological Control of Invasive Species

Plants brought in from other parts of the world arrive without their 'natural enemies', the insects and other herbivores that keep them under control back home.Biological control is a method that involves using other living organisms to help control invasive and non-native species. Biological control, as opposed to chemical or mechanical control, reacquaints non-native, invasive pests (such as weeds or insects) with their natural enemies in an effort to provide natural and sustained population reduction. Research in the RIVR lab focuses on evaluating the impacts and efficacy of organisms in aiding the removal of invasive riparian plants. Focal species include plants such as Tamarisk, Arundo donax, Lepidium latifolium, and Phragmites australis, and the newly introduced bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris).