Study

Creeping thistles can be systemically infected with the rust fungus Puccinia punctiformis using weevils in Switzerland

  • Published source details Wandeler H., Nentwig W. & Bacher S. (2008) Establishing systemic rust infections in Cirsium arvense in the field. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 18, 209-214

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Control weeds without damaging other plants in conservation areas

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Control weeds without damaging other plants in conservation areas

    A replicated, controlled, randomized study in 2004-2005 in a former agricultural field near Bern, Germany (Wandeler et al. 2008) found that creeping thistle Cirsium arvense could be infected with a systemic rust fungus Puccinia punctiformis using the weevil Ceratapion onopordi as a disease carrier. There was a significantly higher rust incidence within 1 m of weevil-treated thistle shoots (34 shoots infected) compared to controls (1 infected). Overall, within a radius of 1 m, 27% of weevil-treated shoots had rust infections compared to 3% of control shoots. There was no significant effect of the treatment within radii of 0.3 m or above 1 m. Therefore, rust infections could be induced between 0.3-1 m from weevil-treated thistles. The field had been sown with a mixture of wildflower seeds, grass and clover Trifolium spp.. In April 2004, 60 thistle shoots (? 1 m apart) in the wildflower strip were randomly assigned as either infected (with one female weevil powdered with rust spores (1000 spores/female)), or controls. Weevils were confined to shoots for 72 hours using a cylinder sealed at the top; controls received only the cylinder. Systemically infected thistles were located and assigned to the nearest experimental shoot, within radii of 0.3, 1, 2 or 3 m in April-July 2005.

Output references

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