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12 May 2022 Predation and Climate Limit Establishment Success of the Kyushu Strain of the Biological Control Agent Aphalara itadori (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) in the Northeastern United States
Jeremy C. Andersen, Joseph S. Elkinton
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Abstract

Species of knotweeds, Reynoutria spp. Houtt. (Caryophyllales: Polygonaceae), including Japanese knotweed (R. japonica Houtt.), are among the most invasive and ecologically destructive plant species introduced to North America and Europe. The Kyushu strain of the psyllid Aphalara itadori Shinji (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) has been approved as a biological control agent for release against Japanese knotweed in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. However, recent reports from Canada suggest that both biotic and abiotic factors may limit its establishment. Therefore, we examined the potential role of predation by comparing open- versus closed-sleeve treatments, and climate mis-matches by collecting temperature data from release sites and performing climate suitability analyses using MaxEnt. Our results indicated that populations of the Kyushu strain could only be maintained in the field in closed-sleeve treatments, suggesting that predation is likely limiting the establishment success of this strain. In addition, we noted that daily maximum temperatures at our field sites might exceed documented developmental thresholds for this strain, and that MaxEnt species distribution modeling indicates no climate similarities between locations in eastern North America and Kyushu. Combined with previous results, our study suggests that the establishment of the Kyushu strain of A. itadori as a biological control agent for Japanese knotweed may be limited in eastern North America. We suggest that one strategy to increase the probability of establishment of the Kyushu strain could be to increase the number of release sites in an effort to find a more optimal niche with predator-free space.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Jeremy C. Andersen and Joseph S. Elkinton "Predation and Climate Limit Establishment Success of the Kyushu Strain of the Biological Control Agent Aphalara itadori (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) in the Northeastern United States," Environmental Entomology 51(3), 545-556, (12 May 2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvac031
Received: 4 January 2022; Accepted: 23 March 2022; Published: 12 May 2022
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KEYWORDS
classical biological control
invasive species
knotweed
psyllid
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