2022 Invasive Species Action Week Lunchtime Talks
Some are tiny and hard to find. Some are beautiful. However, as with many things, looks can be deceiving. Invasive plants and animals threaten some of California's most precious resources, as well as our health. Often these impacts involve surprising interactions that may not be obvious.
The 2022 Invasive Species Action Week Lunchtime Talks explored some of these invasives and what can be done to stop their spread. See the individual descriptions of the talks below to view the recordings.
Monday, June 6
Successful Biological Control of Asian Citrus Psyllid in California
Presented by Dr. Ivan Milosavljevic
Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an invasive pest of citrus that was first detected in California in 2008. ACP poses a significant threat to the long-term viability of the California citrus industry because of its ability to vector a bacterium that causes a lethal citrus disease, called huanglongbing. The disease was first detected in urban-grown citrus in 2012.
In California, ACP has been the target of a biological control program with parasitoids from the pest's native range. In California-grown citrus, ACP benefits from Argentine ants that protect it from natural enemies, and in return, immature ACP (nymphs) provide ants with honeydew, a feeding waste product that is a source of nutritive sugars. Since the inception of the biological control program targeting ACP in California, pest densities have declined by approximately 70%. Control of Argentine ants significantly increases the efficacy of natural enemies against ACP.
This successful biological control program substantially reduces ACP densities in urban areas, which may significantly slow the spread of huanglongbing disease in Southern California into commercial citrus production areas and will be the focus of our discussion.
Tuesday, June 7
Planting Right with PlantRight
Presented by Alex Simmons (Stubblefield)
Many invasive plants are attractive, which is not surprising given that many were originally brought to California as ornamentals. Hear about ways the horticultural trade is working to stop the spread of invasive plants now and in the future through the PlantRight partnership, and learn what you can do to make sure your landscaping does not contribute to the problem.
Wednesday, June 8
Biodiversity, Conservation, and Why We Need Killer Dragonflies
to Keep People and Our Ecosystems Healthy
Presented by Dr. Gary Bucciarelli
In this talk, Dr. Gary Bucciarelli discusses how stream biodiversity in California is impacted by invasive crayfish, how this ultimately affects human health, and what we can do to preserve our incredible (and dwindling!) freshwater ecosystems.
Invasive red swamp crayfish are a serious problem in the Santa Monica Mountains and other parts of Southern California. They devastate native wildlife, including threatened species such as the California red-legged frog, throwing off the natural balance of ecosystems.
They also pose a threat to people, because they lead to more mosquitos and risk of disease. In the mountains, mosquito populations are kept in check by dragonfly nymphs, which voraciously consume their aquatic larvae. But invasive crayfish disrupt that predator-prey relationship, killing and driving dragonfly nymphs from waterways.
Thursday, June 9
Emerging Insights on Invasive Shothole Borers in California
Presented by Dr. Shannon Lynch
Invasive shothole borers have become established in many parts of Southern California, and emerging research suggests that other parts of the state are at risk including the Central Valley, Sacramento, the Bay Area and the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs). This presentation includes promising research on using endophytes (bacterial and fungal microbes that live in trees) to control the tree-killing Fusarium fungus that the beetles "farm" in their galleries to use as their primary food source. Additional research to be discussed includes the model used to predict future spread of the beetles and their potential economic impact.
Friday, June 10
Early Detection & Rapid Response in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Presented by Dr. Rachel Wigginton
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a highly invaded system, and long-term management of existing invasive species populations is challenging for regional natural resource managers. The Delta Interagency Invasive Species Coordination (DIISC) Team has been leading efforts to plan how to prevent, detect, and quickly respond to novel invasions in the Delta. Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) are a coordinated set of actions that aim to find and report, then eradicate potential invasive species before they spread and cause harm. In the Delta, EDRR efforts have been siloed by taxonomic group or organizational jurisdiction. Additionally, there are few structures to coordinate actions among groups with existing EDRR programs, and few communication structures between broader prevention and monitoring efforts and EDRR programs. To respond to this need, the DIISC team developed a draft EDRR framework for the region and coordinated a Symposium on the topic of EDRR. Beyond these EDRR efforts, the DIISC Team seeks to advance research on preventing and managing invasion in restored sites.