U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in Evaluating Indirect Ecological Effects of Biological Control (eds E. Wajnberg, J.K. Scott and P.c. Quimby).


Two workshops were held in 1999 on research needs concerning non-target impacts of biological control introductions. One took place on the Internet for 9 months, and the other in Montpellier, France, for 1 day. Altogether, over 200 researchers from over 30 countries participated, representing a wide variety of viewpoints on the issues involved. The deliberations of these workshops are summarized here. Both workshops highlighted the need for retrospective studies to: (i) identify cases of significant non-target impacts; (ii) explore mechanisms involved when such impacts are found; (iii) evaluate the reliability of host-range testing protocols; and (iv) determine whether and under what circumstances host ranges of biological control agents have evolved subsequent to introduction. Both workshops also emphasized the need for better understanding of the mechanisms underlying host specificity. Finally, both workshops recognized the desirability of collaboration among ecologists, economists, sociologists and biological control practitioners in research to assess and reduce the potential for non-target impacts of biological control introductions.