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You are here: Home / News and Events / In the News / Jan 2011
News and Events
In the News

Jan 2011

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.

Agentine ant - Invasive.org

Argentine Ant Genome Sheds Light on How to be a Successful Pest (Jan 31, 2011)
University of California - Berkeley.
A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University has unlocked the genetic code of the highly invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) - the tiny brown insect that homeowners so frequently find marching en masse through their kitchens - providing clues as to why this species has been so successful.  The scientists have also studied the draft genomes red harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus), the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and the leaf-cutter ant (Atta cephalotes). Among the four ant genomes being reported, the Argentine ant and the fire ant, both native to South America, have established themselves in regions throughout the world, wreaking havoc with the native biodiversity along the way.

USDA, FS Publication - Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-119

Forest Service Offers Free Guide to Managing Invasive Plants (Jan 26, 2011)
USDA. Forest Service. Southern Research Station.
This new guide "A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" provides homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South. The guide provides information on developing strategies for controlling 56 of the most pervasive invasive species in the South.

A female boll weevil on a cotton boll - ARS Image gallery

Tracking the Itinerary of an Unwelcome Visitor (boll weevil) (Jan 26, 2011)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
USDA scientists have helped Texas cotton growers track down the likely origins of a boll weevil infestation, provided guidance on how to avoid future infestations and shed light on how far the pest can travel under certain conditions. The boll weevil was eliminated from much of the southern U.S., thanks to large-scale eradication efforts begun about 30 years ago, but it remains a problem in some areas, and reinfestations are a constant threat. The researchers looked at weather data and wind patterns on insect movement and in this instance, determined the weevil was brought in by Tropical Storm Erin in 2007. The research was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface article Multidisciplinary fingerprints: Forensic reconstruction of an insect reinvasion. Read more about the research in the article Mystery Solved: Detecting the Source, published in the Jan 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

International Year of Forests

2011 International Year of Forests (Jan 24, 2011)
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. Forests cover 31% of total land area and are home to 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. The IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) will celebrate the International Year of Forests by focusing on raising awareness and disseminating information on the impacts of invasive species -- forests pests and diseases.

American Society of Agronomy

Identifying Factors in Atrazine's Reduced Weed Control (Jan 19, 2011)
American Society of Agronomy.
Invasive broadleaf weeds can destroy corn crops and fallow fields. Farmers use the chemical atrazine in herbicides to protect their plants. Despite the chemical’s controversial environmental impacts, it can provide long term residual control of many weed species. However, atrazine is losing its effectiveness, providing a challenge for farmers in northeastern Colorado. Scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service's Water Management Research Unit and Colorado State University conducted research to help growers learn how to predict if their fields will lose atrazine effectiveness. The findings are published in the Journal of Environmental Quality article Spatial distribution of enhanced Atrazine degradation across Northeastern Colorado cropping systems.

NeoBiota Journal logo

NeoBiota Journal
Pensoft Publishers.
NeoBiota is a new peer-reviewed, open-access, rapid online journal launched to accelerate research on all types of alien species and biological invasions: aquatic and terrestrial, animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms.

Red imported fire ant

New Red Imported Fire Ant Enemies in Place for Combat (Jan 4, 2011)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
USDA scientists are releasing the fifth species of phorid fly to control fire ant populations. Red imported fire ants first arrived in the United States in the early 1930s and have been expanding along the southern portion of the country ever since, resulting in medical, agricultural and environmental impacts that cost the U.S. public billions of dollars each year. Read more about the research in the article New Red Imported Fire Ant Enemies in Place for Fight, published in the Jan 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

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