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You are here: Home / News and Events / In the News / Sep 2009
News and Events
In the News

Sep 2009

Selected "In the News" items previously featured on NISIC for this month. See the In the News Archives to view previously posted items by year and month.

See our What's New section for current items of interest.

Leafy Spurge

Study Finds One-Time Herbicide Use Decreased Native Plants, May Have Increased Invasive Plants (Sep 29, 2009)
Montana State University.
A new study shows that the application of a herbicide on the invasive weed leafy spurge 16 years ago had reduced the level of native wildflowers -- including Missouri goldenrod and yarrow and the targeted invasive weed (leafy spurge) had potentially increased. The study Control Effort Exacerbates Invasive-Species Problem is published in Ecological Applications (Jan 2009).

National Pest Management Association

Across the Country, Invasive Pest Species Are Causing Problems (Sep 24, 2009)
National Pest Management Association.
Conservative estimates by the Smithsonian Institution put the number of known insect species found in the United States at more than 91,000 – not including an additional 73,000 unidentified species. These numbers are likely to climb as increased international travel and shipping provide a means for foreign insects (invasive species), to more easily infiltrate the country. The National Pest Management Association urges vigilance against invasive species.

National Science Foundation

Invasive Species on the March: Variable Rates of Spread Set Current Limits to Predictability (Sep 17, 2009)
National Science Foundation.
In a paper published in this week's issue of the journal Science (see abstract; full access requires subscription), biologists report a previously unknown high variability in the rates of invasive species spread. Although more research is needed, the uncertainty the biologists found may place more species at risk in a changing climate: flora and fauna may not be able to march one step ahead of the pace of global warming.

Water lettuce

Preventing Hurricane Havoc: Environmental Teams Tackle the Invasive Plants and Weeds that Impede Flood Control During Massive Storms (Sep 14, 2009)
Weed Science Society of America.
If left unmanaged, invasive plants can promote flooding by jamming pumps and blocking water flow, following a massive storm. Environmental officials are using routine maintenance controls to prevent reoccurrence of the species, which include water hyacinth, water lettuce, hydrilla, and other fast-growing water plants.

Light brown apple moth

Classifying Light Brown Apple Moth for Eradication, Quarantine Is Justifiable In Draft Response by APHIS to Petitioners (Sep 14, 2009)
National Academy of Sciences.
A new report from the National Research Council finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is within its broad regulatory authority to classify California's invasive Light Brown Apple Moth as an "actionable" pest, which the agency asserted in a draft response document to two petitions questioning the classification.

Late Blight

Genome of Irish potato famine pathogen decoded (Sep 9, 2009)
Broad Institute.
A large international research team has decoded the genome of the notorious organism that triggered the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and now threatens this season's tomato and potato crops across much of the U.S. Phytophthora infestans, also known as the late blight pathogen, remains a major threat to world food security. This sequencing is a major breakthrough that will accelerate the design of more sustainable control strategies to combat one of the most challenging pathogens threatening global food security.

USDA logo

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Economic Recovery Projects for Forest Health Protection: 78 Projects in 20 States and The District Of Columbia Will Receive a Total Of $89 Million To Address Problems Caused By Fire, Insects, Invasive Species and Disease (Sep 9, 2009)
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A listing of the forest health protection projects and information on other Forest Service ARRA projects can be found on the Forest Service Economic Recovery site.

Garlic Mustard

Over Time, an Invasive Plant (Garlic Mustard) Loses its Toxic Edge (Sep 1, 2009)
University of Illinois.
A new study on garlic mustard shows that its primary weapon, a fungus killing toxin injected into the soil, becomes less potent over time. The study, Evolutionary Limits Ameliorate the Negative Impact of an Invasive Plant (2009; PDF | 1.3 MB), in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the first to show that evolutionary forces can alter the attributes that give an invasive plant its advantage. This study was funded by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (ARFI) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

IUCN logo

Protect Your Ports Against Invasive Species (Sep 1, 2009)
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
A new report Neighborhood Watch: Early Detection and Rapid Response to Biological Invasion Along US Trade Pathways (2009; PDF | 9.4 MB) says accidental introductions of pests and pathogens threaten economic, environmental and public health. The report offers recommendations to improve biosecurity measures at U.S. ports, as well as a possible funding mechanism based upon the "polluter pays" principle. Recommendations include improved coordination between agencies and greater international cooperation. Neighborhood Watch follows an earlier volume "Denying Entry: Opportunities to Build Capacity to Prevent the Introduction of Invasive Species and Improve Biosecurity at U.S. Ports" (2007; PDF | 4.6 MB) which addressed the challenges of "regulatory exclusion" of potentially invasive species through trace pathways.

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