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Gary D. Clewley, René Eschen, Richard H. Shaw and Denis J. Wright The effectiveness of classical biological control of invasive plants Journal of Applied Ecology 49

Version of Record online: 5 OCT 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02209.x

The number of studies that provide quantitative indications of the effectiveness of biocontrol and the response of non-target taxa has increased over the past decade, but remains small compared to the total number of publications on the classical biocontrol of invasive plants. Nonetheless, this study demonstrates the positive impacts of classical biocontrol and the re-establishment of native plants in a broad range of systems and establishes the value of classical biocontrol for the control of invasive alien plants. The Chrysomelidae and Curculionidae families were the most effective agents and we recommend these be prioritized in cases where potential agents of different taxa have also been identified. In addition, data on the recovery of native plant species and the invertebrate community remain sparse and it is recommended that future studies report the identity of plant species that replace target species as well as invertebrate community responses.

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