A classical biological control agent is an exotic host-specific natural enemy, which is intentionally introduced to obtain long-term control of an alien invasive species. Among the arthropods considered for this role, eriophyid mites are likely to possess the main attributes required: host specificity, efficacy, and long-lasting effects. However, so far, only a few species have been approved for release. Due to their microscopic size and the general lack of knowledge regarding their biology and behavior, working with eriophyids is particularly challenging. Furthermore, mites disperse in wind, and little is known about biotic and abiotic constraints to their population growth. All these aspects pose challenges that, if not properly dealt with, can make it particularly difficult to evaluate eriophyids as prospective biological control agents and jeopardize the general success of control programs. We identified some of the critical aspects of working with eriophyids in classical biological control of weeds and focused on how they have been or may be addressed. In particular, we analyzed the importance of accurate mite identification, the difficulties faced in the evaluation of their host specificity, risk assessment of nontarget species, their impact on the weed, and the final steps of mite release and post-release monitoring.

Eriophyid Mites in Classical Biological Control of Weeds: Progress and Challenges

Cristofaro, Massimo;
2021-01-01

Abstract

A classical biological control agent is an exotic host-specific natural enemy, which is intentionally introduced to obtain long-term control of an alien invasive species. Among the arthropods considered for this role, eriophyid mites are likely to possess the main attributes required: host specificity, efficacy, and long-lasting effects. However, so far, only a few species have been approved for release. Due to their microscopic size and the general lack of knowledge regarding their biology and behavior, working with eriophyids is particularly challenging. Furthermore, mites disperse in wind, and little is known about biotic and abiotic constraints to their population growth. All these aspects pose challenges that, if not properly dealt with, can make it particularly difficult to evaluate eriophyids as prospective biological control agents and jeopardize the general success of control programs. We identified some of the critical aspects of working with eriophyids in classical biological control of weeds and focused on how they have been or may be addressed. In particular, we analyzed the importance of accurate mite identification, the difficulties faced in the evaluation of their host specificity, risk assessment of nontarget species, their impact on the weed, and the final steps of mite release and post-release monitoring.
2021
Eriophyidae
host plant specificity
impact
invasive alien plants
post-release monitoring
release
risk assessment
taxonomy
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/64508
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
social impact