Executive Summaries
“An Early Detection System for Regional Delineation of Advances in Leafy Spurge Infestations in the Upper Midwest, USA”

“Assessing Biological Control Agents for Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Leafy Spurge with Foci in Montana and South Dakota”

“A Field Investigation Assessing the Impact of Area-Wide Biological Control Agents on Non-Target, Native Euphorbia Species” 

“Investigations on Potential Biocontrol Agents of Leafy Spurge Euphorbia esula - virgata”

“Management  Approach for Leafy Spurge Control”

“Leafy Spurge Grazing Demonstration Study Golden Valley County, North Dakota”

“Impact of Grasshopper Control Tactics on Biological Control Agents of Leafy Spurge”

“Develop GIS database and technology transfer programs for TLS project area”

“TEAM Leafy Spurge Demonstration Assessment, Medora N.D.”

“Effects on Nesting of Grassland Birds due to Leafy Spurge Infestation” 

“Assessment Project - Wyoming Component”

“Ecological Assessment of Leafy Spurge in the Little Missouri River Drainage”

“Grazing Research & Demonstration – Maus Study Site, Sentinel Butte, ND & South Fork of Moreau River Site in SD”

“Socio-Economic Effects Component of TLS Project”

“Feasibility of a Cooperatively Owned Sheep Grazing Operation Focused on Leafy Spurge Control”

“Demonstration of Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides Alone and Combined with Biocontrol Insects”

“Reestablishment of the Prairie Fringed Orchid following Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides and Biological Control Agents”

“Technology Transfer”

“Ecological Barriers For the Establishment and Population Increase of Flea Beetles on Leafy Spurge”

“The Utilization of Oberea erythrocephala as an Additional Biological Control Agent on Leafy Spurge in the Little Missouri River Basin”

“Demonstration of Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides”

“Operations” 

“An Ecologically Based Decision Support System for Managing Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) Infested Rangeland”

“Integrating Current and Emerging Herbicide Technologies in Leafy Spurge Control Programs”


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“An Early Detection System for Regional Delineation of Advances in
Leafy Spurge Infestations in the Upper Midwest, USA”

Executive Summary:
Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) is one the most aggressive and hard-to-control invasive plant pests in the upper Midwest of the United States, from Minnesota to the Northern Rocky Mountains (Beresk, K, 1999). TEAM Leafy Spurge, http://www.team.ars.usda.gov/, originally founded in 1997 through actions of a multi-state/multi-agency steering committee, seeks to encourage leafy spurge research, education and control programs to minimize its spread and economic costs (Lorenz, R, 1999). Efforts to control this troublesome weed in the north central US are highly dependent on accurate knowledge of where new advances of this plant are occurring.  Past studies have indicated that one of the most reliable methods for remotely detecting and mapping leafy spurge is manual interpretation of low altitude true color (TC) or color infrared (CIR) aerial photography (Lake, et al, 1997,  Anderson, 1996, and Everitt, 1995).  This proposed research aims to expand on past studies to examine state-of-the-art remote sensing capabilities and some additional new capabilities expected to be operational by the summer field season of 2000.

Brown, Karl
Department of the Interior
US Geological Survey
Center for Biological Informatics
Information Technology & Services Team
Geospatial Technology Specialist
E-mail: Karl_Brown@usgs.gov


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 “Assessing Biological Control Agents for Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
of Leafy Spurge with Foci in Montana and South Dakota”

Executive Summary:
The objective of this study is to document micro-scale distribution, density, dynamics and trends of leafy spurge populations in response to flea beetle control within Montana and South Dakota study areas.  Fifty-two and 41 permanently located sample sites were established during the 1998 field season within the Mill Iron (Montana) and South Fork of the Moreau River (South Dakota) Leafy Spurge Study Areas, respectively.  The 93 selected sites represent the wide range of topographic, soil, vegetation, and landform situations typical of the Study Areas.  Approximately 6,000 beetles (3,000 Aphthona lacertosa and 3,000 A. nigriscutis) were released in mid to late June 1998 at each of the 60 permanently located release sites.  During the 1999 field season, an inventory was conducted to determine abundance and distribution of flea beetles at each sample site.   Digital images were also recorded for each sample site and will be used to estimate changes in leafy spurge cover in relation to control by the flea beetles.  These data collected for the Montana study area have been summarized and incorporated into a geographic information system (PC ArcView).  The same protocol will be used during the 2000 and 2001 field seasons to determine establishment and persistence of flea beetles and their efficacy in reducing density and cover of leafy spurge.  In addition, detailed information on species composition, cover, and frequency will be collected from each site during the 2001 field season and compared to data collected during the 1998 field season.  These data will provide important insight as to the recovery potential of local vegetation in relation to leafy spurge control.  Further, soil samples for seed bank assessment will be collected during the first week of October 2001 and compared to seed bank analysis conducted during the 1998 field season.  All of these data will be summarized and incorporated into PC ArcView for both study areas by May 2002.

Butler, Jack L.
Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Research Station
1730 Samco Road
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 394-2670
E-mail: jackbutler@fs.fed.us


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“A Field Investigation Assessing the Impact of Area-Wide Biological Control Agents on Non-Target, Native Euphorbia species”

Executive Summary:
The objective of this study is to document the current and potential impacts of area-wide releases of two species of flea beetles (Aphthona lacertosa and A. nigriscutis) on non-target, native Euphorbia species.  The project will be conducted in three phases.  Phase one will consist of identifying and locating native Euphorbia species that potentially occur within the Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, and North Dakota project areas using published literature and specimens archived in local and regional herbariums.  The second phase will involve locating actual populations of non-target species within each of the four project areas.  Once field populations have been located, the physical and biological characteristics of the site will be evaluated using the protocol established by the ecological assessment component of TEAM Leafy Spurge. This evaluation will involve an initial survey for the presence of flea beetles.  On about one-half of the sites that are determined to be beetle free, approximately 6,000 flea beetles (3,000 Apthona lacertosa and 3,000 A. nigriscutis) will be released.   Sites will be monitored during the 2001 field season for the establishment of flea beetles within populations of non-target species, and for the effects the flea beetles on the cover and density of non-target Euphorbia species.

Butler, Jack L.
Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Research Station
1730 Samco Road
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 394-2670
E-mail: jackbutler@fs.fed.us


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“Investigations on Potential Biocontrol Agents of Leafy Spurge Euphorbia esula - virgata

Executive Summary:

In 1999, investigations have been focused on the flea beetle species adapted to cold climate and high-moister habitats collected and found in Russia, Armenia, Turkey and China. The study and screening of four species, Aphthona nigriscutis from Russia,  A. abdominalis from Armenia, Aphthona flaviceps from Turkey were initiated in June and first phase of screening "host range testing" terminated in September 1999.  For the second consecutive year, host range tests were carried out on A. chinchihi from Inner Mongolia, China including in the test list ornamentals, crops and representative of native American spurges. Preliminary host range testing were initiated by Russian cooperators on a new species, Aphthona russica collected in Siberia.  Aphthona species from Russia, Armenia and Turkey are better adapted to the continental and mountain climates, while the species from China could adapt to dry climates.
Results obtained in 1999 from host range testing conducted at Rome, Italy and Russia are very encouraging. None of the Aphthona species tested accepted ornamentals, crops and native spurges as a source for ovipositing and developing. Marginal feeding occurred on E. corollata and E. purpurea by A. abdominalis but no oviposition and larval development occurred. A. nigriscutis fed lightly on leaf of E. robusta but no eggs have been found on five replications. No American native spurge species have been tested with A. russica in 1999. Some of the native American spurge will be tested against A. russica next year. Besides US leafy spurge from Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, and North Dakota, Aphthona spp. from Turkey heavily fed on E. corollata, and E. maculata but no eggs were laid on these Euphorbia species. Aphthona chinchihi from China fed lightly on E. robusta but no eggs were found on any of the 5 replications in the test.

CAMPOBASSO, GAETANO
European Biological Control Laboratory
USDA-ARS/ Rome Station, Italy
Via Colle Trugli N. 9, 00132
Rome, Italy
Bus: (39-06) 206-09-361
Home: (660) 885-8527
Bus Fax: (39-06) 207-90-86
E-mail: EBCL.RomeSubstation@agora.stm.it


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“Management  Approach for Leafy Spurge Control”

Executive Summary:
Implementing various control methods by land managers for leafy spurge has had a wide array of successes and failures.  Part of the problem is not having current knowledge of field conditions and accurate history of field operations.  Because of the increase in noxious weeds and vast acres to manage, we must use the most efficient methods available to address the weed problem in our day to day operations as well as their long range planning.  Some of the most useful components of a weed management plan is to identify the areas of concern, the degree of infestation and a history of control methods used.
With the data collected and processed, we can develop individual plans that will enable us to utilize the latest research and development techniques.  With a database of field collected data, we will be able to match site specific needs with predetermined methods.  We need a process that is user friendly, inclusive to pertinent data, yet time efficient.  The BLM and SDSPL are actively involved in weed management projects involving state, federal, local, and private control.  By field demonstrating and testing the present system being used, the BLM and SD SPL feels that this will not only enhance the Jack Butler portion of the Team Leafy Spurge Project, but will advance the present local control project.  To ensure the success of this project, the SDSPL will invest an in House contribution up to $10,500.

Canham, Andy
35920 Canham Place
Miller, SD 57362
Bus: (605) 853-3802
Home: (605) 853-3287
E-mail: canhamtc@turtlecreek.net


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“Leafy Spurge Grazing Demonstration Study
Golden Valley County, North Dakota”

Executive Summary:
This demonstration/research study addresses one objective outlined in the TEAM Leafy Spurge proposal: to determine the impact of multi-species (cattle and sheep) grazing on leafy spurge, plant community composition and diversity, and the interaction of grazing animals in conjunction with the flea beetle populations in two different grazing treatments (seasonlong and twice-over rotation).  The invasion of leafy spurge has drastically reduced the carrying capacity of rangelands in North Dakota and adjacent states and provinces, and therefore, has reduced profits and retail value of the rangeland.  By introducing sheep into an operation individuals have the opportunity to compensate for their economic losses and increase use of their natural resources.  This method of control is more palatable in ecologically sensitive areas than herbicides.  Conducting this study will also give us an understanding of what the interaction will be between livestock grazing and insect activity.  Research has shown that sheep grazing with the combination of insect species may increase the activity of the insects by creating ideal microclimates for the insects.  Several aspects will also be covered in this study such as: what type of grazing treatment provides the greatest control with presence of the insects and which treatment will increase plant species richness and diversity, and increase production and utilization of desirable plant species.  The end result of this study will allow us to deliver information to the ranchers on which treatments will provide long term control and the positive and negatives of using this type of control method.  This study will also demonstrate the removal of some of the constraints of sheep as an alternative integrated pest management tool such as: stocking rates, predator control, and proper livestock management.  Information from this study will augment studies in progress at Mandan North Dakota.  Investigators feel it's important that we compare these two studies because of their location and vegetative zones (Badland and Missouri Slope).

Faller, Timothy
Box 507
Hettinger, ND  58639
Bus: (701) 567-4323
Mobile: (701) 567-3030
Bus Fax: (701) 567-4327
E-mail: tfaller@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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“Impact of Grasshopper Control Tactics
on Biological Control Agents of Leafy Spurge”

Executive Summary:
Release and establishment of flea beetles appears to be an extremely effective long term tactic for dealing with leafy spurge.  Unfortunately, sites with established control agents may be in jeopardy in areas of western rangelands where damaging populations of grasshoppers may require chemical insecticide treatments.  The impact on flea beetles of actions to manage grasshoppers have not been evaluated for traditional or new tools and strategies.  These potential impacts are of concern.
The questions that should be answered are:
Do treatments applied for controlling grasshoppers on rangeland infested with leafy spurge cause mortality to adult flea beetle biocontrol agents?  Which, if any, treatments do not cause mortality and of those that do, what level of subsequent suppression occurs on the population of biocontrol agents and how long is required for the population to return to pretreatment levels?

Foster, R. Nelson
Supervisory Entomologist
USDA/APHIS/PPQ
Phoenix Plant Protection Center
4125 East Broadway Rd
Phoenix, Arizona 85040


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"Develop GIS Database and Technology Transfer Programs for TLS Project Area"

Executive Summary:
The FY 2000 project proposal incorporates five major components.  First is the continuation of the development of geographic information system (GIS) data layers to support the Team Leafy Spurge (TLS) project.  Second is a technology transfer project to develop a GIS for Slope County, North Dakota. Third is a GIS analysis to identify and map suitable habitat for leafy spurge in Golden Valley County, North Dakota. Fourth is a technology transfer project to interpret aerial photography for identification and mapping of leafy spurge in the Cheyenne National Grasslands.  Fifth is the distribution of GIS software (ArcExplorer) to TLS cooperating agencies.
The GIS data layer development project will continue the collection of data from southwestern North Dakota begun in 1998 and Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming in 1999.  All cooperating land management agencies within the project area will be solicited for leafy spurge infestation data, location of biological control sites and monitoring data.  Base data layers will be collected through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  These data will be processed in the GIS at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (THRO) to map and analyze leafy spurge in the project area.  All processed data will be distributed to the cooperating agencies on CD-ROM in a format suitable for importing into a variety of GIS software packages.  Map products will be produced to identify local and regional leafy spurge infestations as well as biological control efforts by all the cooperating agencies.
The first technology transfer component will provide training and technical support to establish a GIS in Slope County North Dakota at the Weed Board Office.  GIS and GPS components will be identified to the county weed board to support their TLS project for establishing the GIS.  The project cartographic technician will travel to the site for operator training and support.

Hager, Steve
P.O. Box 7
315 2nd Ave
Medora, ND  58645
Bus: (701) 623-4466 ext. 3433
Bus Fax: (701) 623-4840
E-mail: steve_hager@nps.gov


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“TEAM Leafy Spurge Demonstration Assessment, Medora N.D.”

Executive Summary:
TEAM leafy spurge demonstrations are an important link between research and land managers. Management ideas developed through the scientific process are applied in demonstrations where private landowners and public land managers can learn from the results. The overall objective of the demonstration assessment is to provide information from the demonstrations that will allow better leafy spurge management decisions in the future, and contribute to the decision-support model data base. Baseline data was collected in 1998 and data after one year of treatment was collected in 1999. We will continue to collect data in a manner that captures the natural variation in the existing plant community. Two demonstrations will be sampled: 1) the Camel’s Hump cattle and sheep grazing demonstration and 2) the Medora herbicide demonstration.

Jacobs, Jim
Dept. Plant Soils and Environmental Sciences
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT.  59717
E-mail: jsjacobs@montana.edu


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“Effects on Nesting of Grassland Birds Due to Leafy Spurge Infestation”

Executive Summary:
Ongoing research is examining the effect of leafy spurge infestation on populations of grassland-dependent breeding birds.  Incidental observations made during the first year of that study suggested that the understory and litter layer within patches of leafy spurge may be unsuitable microhabitat for placement of nests by grassland birds.  The proposed study would follow up on those observations by comparing the densities of nests of grassland birds in fields with low, moderate, and high levels of spurge.  In addition, the success of those nests would be determined and related to the level of spurge.  The study offers the potential to provide critical information on the effects of leafy spurge infestation on grassland birds.

Johnson, Doug
Biological Resource Division
8711 37th Street SE
Jamestown, ND 58401-7317
Bus: (701) 253-5539
E-mail: Douglas_H_Johnson@usgs.gov


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“Assessment Project - Wyoming Component”

Executive Summary:
This proposal is for the Wyoming component of the TEAM Leafy Spurge Assessment Project.  As one of three teams involved in this large-scale assessment project, we will collect and analyze FY1999 vegetation and Aphthona flea beetle data from the Wyoming study area using protocols common to all three teams and the past two years. A second objective is to evaluate and if appropriate, apply remotely-sensed data (e.g., aerial and satellite imagery) to the large-scale mapping of leafy spurge infestations.

Kazmer, David
University of Wyoming
Dept. of Renewable Resources
P.O. Box 3354
Laramie, WY 82071-3165
Bus: (307) 766-5199
E-mail: djkazmer@uwyo.edu


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“Ecological Assessment of Leafy Spurge in the
Little Missouri River Drainage”

Executive Summary:
Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) infests nearly 400,000 ha or 9% of North Dakota’s rangeland.  This introduced perennial species is highly competitive and displaces native vegetation.  The ecological effects of leafy spurge infestations are decreased plant diversity, increased potential soil erosion, and degraded wildlife and recreational habitats.  Economic effects of leafy spurge are reduced forage for livestock and reduced values for agricultural land.  Estimated direct economic losses to the livestock industry in North Dakota approach $23 million annually.
In 1997, a project was begun to document the macro- and micro-distribution of leafy spurge infestations in the Little Missouri River drainage of western North Dakota.  The project was expanded in 1998 and 1999 to assess the impacts of biological control agents (Aphthona spp.) on leafy spurge infestations and the ecological barriers of biocontrol agent establishment.

Kirby, Don
Dept. of Animal and Range Sciences
Hultz Hall
North Dakota State University
Fargo, N.D.  58105
Bus: (701) 231-8386
Mobile: (701) 799-1123
Bus Fax: (701) 231-7590
E-mail: dkirby@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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“Grazing Research & Demonstration – Maus Study Site, Sentinel Butte, ND & South Fork of Moreau River Site in SD”

Executive Summary:
Leafy spurge grazing by different breeds of sheep will be compared from about mid-May to early-July on the Maus Study Site near Sentinel Butte, North Dakota.  At the SD site, the effect on leafy spurge from sheep grazing with or without the addition of herbicides will be evaluated as will be the effects of flea beetles with or without sheep grazing.  Moderate stocking rates and season-long grazing will be used on all study sites.

Kronberg, Scott
Dept. Animal and Range Science
Box 2170, SDSU
Brookings, SD  57007
Bus: (605) 688-5412
Bus Fax: (605) 688-6170
E-mail: kronbers@mg.sdstate.edu


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“Feasibility of a Cooperatively Owned Sheep Grazing Operation
Focused on Leafy Spurge Control”

Executive Summary:
Early indications of research conducted by TEAM Leafy Spurge cooperators and others suggest that grazing with sheep or goats provides a benefit to rangeland through the reduction of leafy spurge, shrubs, and other forbs.   This provides a direct benefit to the cattle using the same rangeland by increasing grass production and as a result an increase in beef production.  However, within the study area, multi-species grazing for controlling leafy spurge and increasing plant diversity was used by less than one-third of ranchers (Sell et al. 1998a; 1998b).
One of the main reasons for not using this method of control of leafy spurge is the inability of the ranch operator to provide labor and management to another enterprise on the ranch.  Ranch operators may feel that they would not be able to add another job to the work load of the ranch, or they can not or do not want to learn the skills necessary to be successful in the production of a different species of animal.  More than 70 percent of ranchers felt they did not have the right equipment for sheep or goats, and more than 40 percent indicated they did not have the expertise/knowledge to effectively utilize sheep or goats (Sell et al. 1998a; 1998b).

Leistritz, Larry
NDSU, Morril Hall
Fargo, ND  58105
Bus: (701) 231-7455
Bus Fax: (701) 231-7400
E-mail: lleistri@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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“Socio-Economic Effects Component of TLS Project”

Executive Summary:
This project addresses three specific objectives outlined in the TEAM Leafy Spurge proposal: (1) assess the economic impact of leafy spurge reduction and range restoration, (2) evaluate costs and benefits of biological control strategies (including grazing) and combinations of biological and chemical control strategies,  and  develop an economic decision model, and (3) evaluate managerial, institutional, and social factors that may inhibit implementation of various control strategies; develop approaches to enhance implementation; and assess the impact of the demonstration program on attitudes and perceptions of landowners, land managers, and area/local decision-makers. The economic impact of leafy spurge reduction and range restoration will be assessed using an input-output framework.  Several scenarios of future benefits to the regional economy associated with reductions of leafy spurge will be developed, reflecting alternative assumptions regarding rates at which control technologies are adopted and rangeland grazing capacity recovers.  The analysis of costs and benefits of alternative control technologies and combinations thereof will include biological, chemical, cultural, and mechanical methods.  The analysis of specific control technologies and combinations thereof will serve as the basis for a microcomputer decision model, which will evaluate  the least-cost and/or most profitable control strategies/programs under a variety of environmental conditions.  The evaluation of factors affecting implementation of control strategies will be based on information from interviews with weed control specialists, land owners, and public land managers, as well as surveys of each of these groups.  The surveys will also be used to measure attitudes and perceptions of land owners, land managers, and area/local decision makers.

Leistritz, Larry
NDSU, Morril Hall
Fargo, ND  58105
Bus: (701) 231-7455
Bus Fax: (701) 231-7400
E-mail: lleistri@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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“Demonstration of Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides Alone
and Combined with Biocontrol Insects”

Executive Summary:
 This project is designed to demonstrate leafy spurge control with various herbicides, an IPM management program with biocontrol insects used in conjunction with herbicides, and includes the budget for the leafy spurge newsletter.  The herbicide demonstration includes representative treatments for both short- and long-term control at various costs.  We plan to demonstrate the most practical treatment for various situations ranging from open range land to under trees and near stream banks.  The insect-herbicide demonstration will show how the combination of both biological and chemical control methods can provide better control than either method used alone.  This integrated program has been especially effective in areas where the Aphthona spp. flea beetles have been slow to establish resulting in little or no leafy spurge control.  The budget for the leafy spurge newsletter is included in this proposal.  "The Leafy Spurge News" is published four times per year and mailed to all interested land managers and researchers in the region.  "The Leafy Spurge News" has been the most effective method for leafy spurge technology transfer to land managers and weed control officers.

Lym, Rod
NDSU, Box 5051
Loftgard Hall, 474B
Fargo, ND  58106
Bus: (701) 231-8996
Bus Fax: (701) 231-8474
E-mail: lym@plains.nodak.edu


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“Reestablishment of the Prairie Fringed Orchid following
Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides and Biological Control Agents”

Executive Summary:
This project is a continuation of the western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) recovery project funded in part by TEAM Leafy Spurge from 1997-1999.  When herbicides were fall applied to plots containing orchids, orchids reappeared in most plots the following growing season.  Herbicide treatments evaluated included quinclorac (Paramount), imazapic (Plateau), and a combination of glyphosate plus 2,4-D (Landmaster).  A total of 21, 16, and 11 orchids reappeared in the three herbicide treatments, respectively, compared to 13 orchids in the untreated plots. In a separate study, leafy spurge control averaged 95% 12 months after treatment with quinclorac or imazapic, but only 39% with glyphosate plus 2,4-D.  In conjunction with the herbicide work, a soil seed bank study found that leafy spurge was the most likely plant to regrow from seed once the initial infestation had been controlled.  Leafy spurge comprised 40% of all germinated seedlings, with grasses 25%, and forbs 22%.  The high leafy spurge seedling density and the likely regrowth of the plants from roots necessitates a long-term control effort.  The work to be continued includes evaluation of: 1) the effect of herbicides applied 3 consecutive years on orchid reappearance and seed set and 2) an integrated leafy spurge control program (herbicide alone, herbicide and biological control, biological control only, and no treatment) on orchid and associated plant species growth.  The efficacy tests will continue to be conducted on the Sheyenne National Grassland near Lisbon, ND on an established population of western prairie fringed orchids in conjunction with the U.S.D.A.  Forest Service and the U.S.D.I Fish and Wildlife Service.  Permission to continue to apply herbicides to the orchid has been received from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lym, Rod
NDSU, Box 5051
Loftgard Hall, 474B
Fargo, ND  58106
Bus: (701) 231-8996
Bus Fax: (701) 231-8474
E-mail: lym@plains.nodak.edu


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“Technology Transfer”

Executive Summary:
The TEAM Leafy Spurge technology transfer program has multiple goals, all of which revolve around INFORMATION and EDUCATION. The technology transfer program specialist will work with other TEAM Leafy Spurge program participants, the technology transfer committee, and the co-principal investigators and program coordinator to produce and distribute informational tools that transfer technologies researched, refined and/or demonstrated by TLS program participants; these tools will enable ranchers, landowners and land managers to more effectively manage and control leafy spurge. These tools include press releases; feature length stories in periodic publications; pamphlets and brochures; a comprehensive and interactive TEAM Leafy Spurge web site; a CD-ROM database; revision of the award-winning “Purge Spurge” CD-ROM database; annual tours of research and demonstration sites; town hall meetings; public service announcements; production of video for use on web pages and CDs; etc. General goals include increasing public awareness about noxious weeds and the economic and environmental costs associated with such weeds; creating name recognition for TEAM Leafy Spurge; and working to foster partnerships between the various groups and entities collectively engaged in controlling and managing leafy spurge and other noxious weeds.

Merritt, Steve
USDA-ARS
1500 N. Central
Sidney, MT  59270
Bus: (406) 433-9440
E-mail: smerritt@sidney.ars.usda.gov


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“Ecological Barriers For the Establishment and Population Increase
 of Flea Beetles on Leafy Spurge”

Executive Summary:
The major thrust of our research efforts is to determine ecological barriers that may influence the establishment and population increase of flea beetles on leafy spurge. Although a number of biological control agents are available for leafy spurge, only the Aphthona flea beetles have shown the ability to significantly impact leafy spurge infestations. Unfortunately, the impacts from flea beetle releases have been inconsistent.  Approximately 30% of the releases have failed to result in flea beetle establishment, and some established populations have not attained numbers sufficiently high to impact leafy spurge populations.  At present it is not clear which factors are responsible for this. Hence, the purpose of our research is to identify such factors through a number of biological, ecological, and molecular genetic studies of the flea beetles and leafy spurge.

Nowierski, Bob
Montana State University
Leon Johnson Hall 413
Bozeman, MT  59717
Bus: (406) 994-5080
Home: (406) 587-3332
Bus Fax: (406) 994-6029
E-mail: nowiersk@montana.edu


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“The Utilization of Oberea erythrocephala as an Additional Biological Control Agent on Leafy Spurge in the Little Missouri River Basin”

Executive Summary:
Leafy Spurge inhabits a wide range of different environmental habitats.  Leafy spurge root placement in the soil appears to limit the success of  Aphthona spp. to only a particular range of environmental conditions.  The beneficial cerambycid beetle (Oberea erythrocephala) has a different reproductive and feeding behavior and therefore, may be better suited for successful establishment in the environmental habitats where Aphthona flea beetles are less than satisfactory.  The successful establishment of Oberea will support the efforts of managing leafy spurge with another bio-control agent.

Olson, Denise
North Dakota State University
Hultz Hall, Room 265
Fargo, ND  58105
Bus: (701) 231-6292
Bus Fax: (701) 231-9692
E-mail: denolson@badlands.nodak.edu


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“Demonstration of  Leafy Spurge Control
 With Herbicides”

Executive Summary:
Herbicide demonstration plots will be located within the TEAM Leafy Spurge demonstration area and provide examples of leafy spurge control from various herbicides labeled for this weed (Table).  We will include picloram (Tordon), picloram plus 2,4-D, dicamba (Banvel), glyphosate (Roundup), glyphosate + 2,4-D (Landmaster BW), fosamine (Krenite), and AC 263,222 (Plateau).  There would be a total of 19 treatments with all various labeled combinations.  Also demonstrated will be a nonlabeled herbicide called quinclorac (Facet), a herbicide likely to be labeled by BASF.  This herbicide is especially desirable for the Northern Great Plains region because it provides good leafy spurge control with minimal impact on desirable forbs.

Prosser, Chad
USDA-ARS
1500 N. Central
Sidney, MT  59270
Bus: (406) 433-9403
Mobile: (406) 489-2670
E-mail: cprosser@sidney.ars.usda.gov


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“Operations”

Executive Summary:
Operations plan to continue coordination of expanded activities associated with the collection and redistribution of biological control agents to be released in and around the study area.  Additionally, audio-visual support will be created and distributed via the CD-ROM “Leafy Spurge Biological Control Informational and Photo Resource Gallery.”  Operations will supply technical personnel support to aid evaluation teams, insect collection, release, technical transfer activities, and provide ground truthing of digital imagery data collected by aerial mapping.

Richard, Bob
FSL MSU
Bozeman, MT  59717-0278
Bus: (406) 994-5033
Bus Fax: (406) 994-6591
E-mail: robert.d.richard@usda.gov


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“An Ecologically Based Decision Support System for Managing
Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula) Infested Rangeland”

Executive Summary:
Integrated management of leafy spurge infestations needs to be based on ecological principals. In addition, successful management of leafy spurge is dependent upon our understanding of how plant communities respond to management. There currently exists a large information base for management of leafy spurge that needs to be compiled, synthesized, and combined with our understanding of the biology and ecology of leafy spurge and associated plants in the community. Our object is to build on the current information base with field research to develop an ecology-based computer driven predictive tool that will aid land-managers in making decisions regarding cost effective and sustainable leafy spurge management. We will experimentally determine the competitive relationship between leafy spurge, Kentucky bluegrass and western wheatgrass as the basis of the three species community dynamics model. Information from past research, other TEAM leafy spurge projects, and costs and benefits of management will be incorporated into the model. When completed, the user-friendly model will be useful as a decision-making tool, an educational tool, and as a tool providing research direction. It will be PC compatible and be made available by disk, CD-ROM, or through the internet.

Sheley, Roger
Dept. Plant Soils and Environmental Sciences
MSU
Bozeman, MT.  59717
Bus: (406) 994-5686
Home: (406) 585-9147
Mobile: (406) 581-5203
Bus Fax: (406) 994-3933
E-mail: rsheley@montana.edu


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“Integrating Current and Emerging Herbicide Technologies
in Leafy Spurge Control Programs”

Executive Summary:
The proposed project includes four individual field components to evaluate aspects of herbicide performance to control leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) in rangeland; including consideration for environmentally sensitive sites.  Two studies were initiated during 1998 and are proposed for continuation to collect long-term data.  Two additional studies will be initiated during 1999.
This research will expand the scope of the project to include new and current technologies as part of the comprehensive integrated program.  An opportunity exists to develop a data base and to demonstrate results relevant to northwest South Dakota and adjacent areas in border states.
This research provides an on-site training opportunity for local producers and land managers and state or regional agency personnel. Additional opportunity also exists for biological assessments by other TEAM Leafy Spurge subprojects.

Wrage, Leon
Box 2207A, Ag Hall, SDSU
Brookings, SD  57007
Bus: (605) 688-4591
Bus Fax: (605) 688-4602
E-mail: wragel@ur.sdstate.edu



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