Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) refers to the complex of exotic invasive shrubs and trees (four species and their hybrids) now considered the third most prevalent woody riparian taxonomic group in the western United States. Defoliation by large multivoltine populations of the Northern tamarisk beetle Diorhabda carinulata has successfully reduced extensive saltcedar infestations in the southwestern U.S. Behavioral manipulation of insects with semiochemicals such as aggregation pheromones can be used to intensify herbivory, even in the Northern Rockies where beetle population densities are inherently low, to the extent that the target weed species is negatively affected at a population level.
To learn more about this, see the Science Spotlight: ‘Chem herding’ to improve biological control of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in the Northern Rockies
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