Regional Management of Perennial Mustards & YST in Western Rangelands Utilizing an Integrated Pest Management Systems Approach
The objective of this cooperative research project is to improve regional management of riparian and upland invasive plant species by integrating biological control agents with other vegetation management strategies. We will characterize the current ecological limits to Lepidium latifolium distribution in western Idaho as a baseline for future evaluation of the effectiveness of biological control, collect comparative pre-release information on perennial pepperweed (PPW) plant traits in its native and exotic ranges and on the associated herbivore arthropod communities, assess the impact of abundant white rust (Albugo sp.) on PPW infestations in the western U.S., assess the identity and impact of abundant stem-mining Ceutorhynchus sp. on PPW infestations in the western U.S., assess PPW dynamics in a range of plant communities identified above using plant demography, develop techniques for restoring infested areas to promote competitive plant communities resistant to reinfestation, complete plant movement modeling research for yellow starthistle to predict movement of plants across actual landscapes, and assess the impact of abundant biocontrol agents for yellow starthistle and potentially adverse interspecific competitive interactions between these biological control agents that could negatively affect the overall biocontrol efficacy.