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Effects of pollutant accumulation by the invasive weed saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) on the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Sorensen, Mary A., Parker, David R., Trumble, John T.
Environmental pollution 2009 v.157 no.2 pp. 384-391
Diorhabda elongata, Tamarix ramosissima, biological control, biological control agents, chromium, greenhouses, groundwater, hydroponics, invasive species, larvae, manganese, pollutants, salts, selenium, weeds
Hydroponic greenhouse studies were used to investigate the effect of four anthropogenic pollutants (perchlorate (ClO4-), selenium (Se), manganese (Mn), and hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI))) on the biological control agent Diorhabda elongata Brullé. Contaminant concentrations were quantified for experimental Tamarix ramosissima Ledab. plants and D. elongata beetles. Growth of larvae was significantly reduced by Se contamination, but was not affected by the presence of perchlorate, Mn, or Cr (VI). All of the contaminants were transferred from plants to D. elongata beetles. Only Cr (VI) was accumulated at greater levels in beetles than in their food. Because T. ramosissima grows in disturbed areas, acquires salts readily, and utilizes groundwater, this plant is likely to accumulate anthropogenic pollutants in contaminated areas. This study is one of the first to investigate the potential of an anthropogenic pollutant to influence a weed biological control system.