The Berks-Mont News (

Bioeradication: Controlling non-native invasive species 2/7

By Richard Gardner, Columnist

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This is an extension of a pair of presentations I gave at the NENHC 2013 in April of this year on the control of non-native invasive species. The first paper was on Bioeradication, with examples. The second was a presentation of Ailanthus altissima chemical control and bioeradication.
As in all things biological and especially ecological, it is not complete due to the complexity of biological systems and even greater complexity of ecological systems. The ideas and examples are still a work in progress. However, as is self-evident, what is presented here describes and explains the much safer use of Native Bioeradicants as an alternative to the dangerous practice of Classical Biocontrol.
Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) This starts on at the beginning of the introduction to a new ecosystem. It is most strongly seen on the front end or beginning of the Gaussian curve of an invasion. It is the genetic shakeout where genes and genotypes that are unfit for the new ecosystem go extinct. At the same time, genes and genotypes that increase the fitness/invasiveness of an invader increase or develop and proliferate. This is parallel to the Founder Effect in populations. The beginning is at removal from the original ecosystem and transport to the new ecosystem as even this requires special adaptations. However, it most strongly develops from the moment of introduction to the new ecosystem and through the early stages of logarithmic expansion. The process continues throughout its residency in the new ecosystem until it becomes extinct by a native (system) which evolves to drive it extinct through competition, herbivory, disease or any of numerous other processes alone or more likely as part of or in cooperation with other processes.
Bioeradicant Any native organism in any time frame from seconds to centuries that partially or fully inhibits a non-native organism and helps to drive it to extinction. Unfortunately this is not the goal of using non-native biocontrols on non-native invasives. They are looking for control, not extinction of both of the introduced species (control and invasive) and groups of species.
Bioeradicant system A group of native organisms which through any biological relationship and time frame partially or fully inhibits a non-native organism to the point it is driven to extinction.
Direct bioeradication This is the use of a native organism or native organism system as a bioeradicant for a specific organism. In the case of Ailanthus altissima it may be introducing a native wilt pathogen such as Fusarium oxysporum or Verticillium dahliae to work with Aculops ailanthii and Atteva aurea.
Indirect bioeradication Providing the native resources such as food, breeding sites or shelter needed for a native bioeradicant or bioeradicant system to develop at a specific location for a specific organism. This may be nectar sources, sheltering plants, mutualistic fungi, water source or...
Bioeradication garden A form of Indirect Bioeradication which is a garden of local native plants that provide a resource at any life stage that a native bioeradicant needs to be effective as a bioeradicant such as food, egg laying sites, overwintering sites, protection from predators. Bioremediation can be a direct result of using a bioeradication garden by providing native organisms to replace the extinct non-native organisms.
Richard Gardener lives in Upper Bern Township. His passions are ecology and history because with these we are able to understand our world, our place in it and our future.