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US biocontrol scheme for Russian knapweed

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recommended the release of a biological control agent against the invasive weed, Russian knapweed ( Acroptilon repens). The gall midge, Jaapiella ivannikovi, would reduce the severity of Russian knapweed infestations by stunting growth and inducing gall formation. The weed covered an estimated 1,561 million acres (632 million ha) in the western US and Canada in 2000. Last year, the APHIS approved the release of a stem-galling wasp, Aulacidea acroptilonica, to help control the weed. The latest environmental assessment is open to public comment until April 13th.

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