EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/186

Feasibility of biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in Europe

During the 12th International Symposium on the Biological Control of Weeds held on 2007-04-22/27 in Montpellier (France), a workshop on the feasibility of biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Asteraceae) was organized.
The following presentations were made:
  • Results of the international meeting of experts held in Vienna on 2006-09-27 (see www.bba.bund.de/ambrosia).
  • The biological control against A. artemisiifolia in Australia by Zygogramma bicolorata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Epiblema strenuana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).
  • The biological control against A. artemisiifolia in Russia by Zygogramma saturalis.
  • The list of known insect biological control agents: Epiblema strenuana, Zygogramma bicolorata, Z. disrupta, Z. saturalis.
  • Potential fungal biological control agents in Hungary: Protomyces gravidus, Puccina xanthii and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and the insect biological control agents Zygogramma suturalis and Ophraella communa (both Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).
  • Actions undertaken in Italy: A. artemisiifolia is now infesting the Po Valley regions, and in the Lombardia region alone, the direct costs of allergies on the public health system, that were attributed to the plant, exceeded 1 million euros in 2003. Efficient management of A. artemisiifolia can only be achieved through an integrated network of countries using biological control in combination with different agronomic and mechanical strategies.
  • Phytosanitary status of A. artemisiifolia: the plant is already too widespread to fit with quarantine regulation in most parts of the world. Within the EPPO region, a draft standard on national regulatory control system (PM 9) is being circulated for country consultation by EPPO.
The workshop concluded that a European program for the biological control of A. artemisiifolia would be highly desirable.


Contact: Dominique Coutinot, dcoutinot@ars-ebcl.org