- Author: John Miskella
- Author: Guy B Kyser
In late October we made our monthly trip to sample curlyleaf pondweed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. On an island in the lower San Joaquin river, we spotted goats eating waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and waterprimrose (Ludwigia sp.) along the shoreline.
The goats were accompanied by a benevolent and protective llama, who showed no interest in the weeds.
- Author: Thomas Getts
Heat is something that many Californians are used to, and live with for several months out of the year, but prolonged triple digit heat is not something I am used to in my corner of the state. Sure it gets hot up here in Lassen County, but there is most often a place to retreat from the heat.
A couple of weeks ago I was feeling hot, sweltering in the triple digits of Canyonlands National Park in Utah, which in all honesty would be considered a moderate day for my colleagues down in the Imperial Valley. But, I live in northern California, and what I was seeing made me think I was hallucinating from the heat. I did a double take because a good portion of the vegetation surrounding the river was turning brown and dropping their...
- Author: Guy B Kyser
The Economist reports that Hungarian biologists have trained rabbits to preferentially eat common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), an invasive plant (and a native to North America).
- Author: Patrick Moran
- Editor: Guy B Kyser
A recent USDA-CDFA collaboration has documented the first establishment of a population of the water hyacinth planthopper in the western U.S.
The water hyacinth planthopper (Megamelus scutellaris, Order Hemiptera) is found on water hyacinth throughout tropical and sub-temperate areas in eastern and central South America. The USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) first learned of this insect in Argentina and has worked with it there and at the USDA-ARS lab in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Lab testing demonstrated that the planthopper can feed and reproduce only on water hyacinth, and that just two generations of feeding can reduce plant biomass by up to 70%. Planthoppers start out as eggs, go through 5...