Bioeradication
Richard Gardnerrtgardner3@yahoo.comJune 19, 2013
This is an extension of a pair of presentations I gave at the NENHC 2013 in April of this year onthe control of non-native...
Classical biocontrol – the introduction of non-native organisms in the attempt to reduce theeffects of other introduced no...
Bioeradication – The extinction of a non-native (invasive) species from an ecosystem usingnative organisms. This is a winn...
Enemy Release Hypothesis (ERH) – Immediately when removed from its home ecosysteman organism takes only a small fraction o...
Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) – This starts on at the beginning of theintroduction to a new ecosystem....
Bioeradicant – Any native organism in any time frame from seconds to centuries that partially orfully inhibits a non-nativ...
Direct bioeradication – This is the use of a native organism or native organism system as abioeradicant for a specific org...
Bioeradication garden – A form of Indirect Bioeradication which is a garden of local nativeplants that provide a resource ...
Resource use – This is the use by a native bioeradicant of a native or non-native resource. In thecase of a non-native res...
Mutualism – Two or more organisms which cooperate to the benefit of each other. Bioeradicantsystems reflect this at differ...
Direct competition – When an organism competes directly with another organism for aresource. Examples are two species of b...
Resource enhancement/depletion – This is enhancing a resource needed by a nativebioeradicant to help it eradicate a non-na...
Bioremediation – the use of native organisms to displace or replace non-native organisms asthey are eliminated from an eco...
In Bioeradication we are trying to understand all the relationships within an ecosystem to findnative organisms to hinder ...
Adaptation of Novel Weapons or their development is a major component of EICA in theongoing and continual changes of adapt...
ERH and EICA are continuing processes throughout the residency on non-natives in the newecosystem, including failed introd...
Combined, EICA and ERH explain the first parts of an invasion, up into the logarithmic growth.What they do not explain is ...
There is a critical point in time or critical population density of the non-native needed for abioeradicant/a bioeradicant...
The biggest question asked about bioeradication is why it has not been seen and recorded? Theanswer is threefold. The firs...
The most important part of what is being presented is that it is not complicated. Humans havethe horrid ability to complic...
Finally, biology and ecology are tremendously complex. Reducing phenomena down to one ortwo rules or variables is unrealis...
Constructive input is asked for so this concept can be strengthened and safer practicesdeveloped than are presently used.
The Slideshare.net presentations are at:http://www.slideshare.net/hacuthbert/gardner-biocontrol-nenhc-2013http://www.slide...
Now it is time for me to take a walk in the woods.
Richard Gardnerrtgardner3@yahoo.comJune 19, 2013
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Bioeradication

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Bioeradication versus Biocontrol, definitions, theory and practice. This is a preliminary theoretical discussion of the use of native organisms to eradicate non-native invasive organisms from ecosystems as opposed to using non-natives to attempt control of other non-natives.

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Bioeradication

  1. 1. Bioeradication
  2. 2. Richard Gardnerrtgardner3@yahoo.comJune 19, 2013
  3. 3. This is an extension of a pair of presentations I gave at the NENHC 2013 in April of this year onthe control of non-native invasive species. The first paper was on Bioeradication, with examples.The second was a presentation of Ailanthus altissima chemical control and bioeradication.As in all things biological and especially ecological, it is not complete due to the complexity ofbiological systems and even greater complexity of ecological systems. The ideas and examplesare still a work in progress. However, as is self-evident, what is presented here describes andexplains the much safer use of Native Bioeradicants as an alternative to the dangerous practiceof Classical Biocontrol.
  4. 4. Classical biocontrol – the introduction of non-native organisms in the attempt to reduce theeffects of other introduced non-native organisms on ecosystems. This is a losing proposition asthe goal is not to remove the problems, just reduce their effects. At the same time there areunforeseen negative effects which cannot be predicted in the local and extra-local ecosystems inwhich they are introduced through genetic or behavioral changes in native organisms in theecosystem and in the non-native biocontrol such as the non-native biocontrol changing foodsources to native organisms, acting as a food subsidy for native organisms which unbalances thenative food web with multiple possible consequences, competition for nesting sites, breedingresources or any other resource with which it is in competition with native organisms,introduction of disease(s) to native organisms which may cause their extinction, … . Introducingthe non-native invasive induced genetic and behavioral changes in native organisms. Thereforeintroducing another non-native to try to correct the prior problem will also induce genetic andbehavioral changes in the native organisms.
  5. 5. Bioeradication – The extinction of a non-native (invasive) species from an ecosystem usingnative organisms. This is a winning proposition as the goal is the regeneration of the ecosystemby eliminating the non-native problem from the ecosystem using native organisms whichminimizes the potential problems associated with the addition of non-native organisms aspotential controls.
  6. 6. Enemy Release Hypothesis (ERH) – Immediately when removed from its home ecosysteman organism takes only a small fraction of its biocontrols (and competitors) with it. Duringtransport and when introduced into a new ecosystem other biocontrols (and competitors)drop out, further reducing the number of control organisms. It is thedisease/pest/competitor version of the Founder Effect in which a small segment of apopulation immigrates to a new location, taking only a small subset of the originalpopulation’s genes with it. As in the Founder Effect, individuals (control organisms andcompetitors) may continue to drop out due to random chance or environmentalunsuitability, while others adapt to the new conditions with unpredictable consequences.The final effect is the elimination of many of the restraints which prevented the non-nativeorganism from taking over its home ecosystem.This frees the non-native from many of its health and competition issues and allows it tofocus on growth and reproduction in the new ecosystem. This is one of the major reasonsthat an invader can out-compete natives. Natives are kept in balance with the rest of theecosystem due to direct and indirect native competitors and native organisms that use thenative as an energy source.
  7. 7. Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) – This starts on at the beginning of theintroduction to a new ecosystem. It is most strongly seen on the front end or beginning ofthe Gaussian curve of an invasion. It is the genetic shakeout where genes and genotypesthat are unfit for the new ecosystem go extinct. At the same time, genes and genotypesthat increase the fitness/invasiveness of an invader increase or develop and proliferate.This is parallel to the Founder Effect in populations. The beginning is at removal from theoriginal ecosystem and transport to the new ecosystem as even this requires specialadaptations. However, it most strongly develops from the moment of introduction to thenew ecosystem and through the early stages of logarithmic expansion. The processcontinues throughout its residency in the new ecosystem until it becomes extinct by anative (system) which evolves to drive it extinct through competition, herbivory, disease orany of numerous other processes alone or more likely as part of or in cooperation withother processes.
  8. 8. Bioeradicant – Any native organism in any time frame from seconds to centuries that partially orfully inhibits a non-native organism and helps to drive it to extinction. Unfortunately this is notthe goal of using non-native biocontrols on non-native invasives. They are looking for control,not extinction of both of the introduced species (control and invasive) and groups of species.Bioeradicant system – A group of native organisms which through any biological relationshipand time frame partially or fully inhibits a non-native organism to the point it is driven toextinction.
  9. 9. Direct bioeradication – This is the use of a native organism or native organism system as abioeradicant for a specific organism. In the case of Ailanthus altissima it may be introducing anative wilt pathogen such as Fusarium oxysporum or Verticillium dahliae to work with Aculopsailanthii and Atteva aurea.Indirect bioeradication – Providing the native resources such as food, breeding sites or shelterneeded for a native bioeradicant or bioeradicant system to develop at a specific location for aspecific organism. This may be nectar sources, sheltering plants, mutualistic fungi, water sourceor … .
  10. 10. Bioeradication garden – A form of Indirect Bioeradication which is a garden of local nativeplants that provide a resource at any life stage that a native bioeradicant needs to be effective asa bioeradicant such as food, egg laying sites, overwintering sites, protection from predators, …,Bioremediation can be a direct result of using a bioeradication garden by providing nativeorganisms to replace the extinct non-native organisms.Bioeradication resource – Any naturally occurring environmental resource a native bioeradicantneeds to be effective as a bioeradicant.
  11. 11. Resource use – This is the use by a native bioeradicant of a native or non-native resource. In thecase of a non-native resource it takes time to adapt to using it through either learning to use it(behavioral changes) or genetic changes, often both.Resource familiarity – This is the amount of use of a resource by a native bioeradicant. In thecase of non-native (invasive) resources it requires time for a native bioeradicant to adapt to itthrough either behavioral or genetic changes and begin driving the non-native to extinction.Resource heritage – This is the passing on of a behavioral and/or genetic adaptation to aresource by a native bioeradicant. This can be through learning, by genetic change or moreprobably a combination of both. It can spread through a species horizontally as one organismlearns from another or vertically as it is passed on to/through offspring through learning orgenes.
  12. 12. Mutualism – Two or more organisms which cooperate to the benefit of each other. Bioeradicantsystems reflect this at different levels of relationship by eliminating a non-native from theecosystem through (unintended) cooperation, different feeding strategies which enhance thesuccess of both species, behavioral adaptations or other strategies.Competition – Relationships where certain organisms benefit through a variety of mechanismsto the detriment of others without necessarily using them as an energy source. This is anessential element in bioeradication.Herbivory, predation and parasitism – Relationships in which one organism or groups oforganisms benefit by using other organisms as an energy source. This does not imply that allthe benefit accrues to the herbivore, predator or parasite as there are often unseen benefits toboth organisms.
  13. 13. Direct competition – When an organism competes directly with another organism for aresource. Examples are two species of bees competing for a pollen source or a vulture and acrow competing for an animal carcass. This is good if a native bioeradicant is successfullycompeting with a non-native organism and driving it to extinction. It is bad when a non-native isdriving a native to extinction.Indirect competition – Positive is when an organism provides a resource needed for anotherorganism to compete with a native or non-native organism. Knowing how to manipulate this isbetter than introducing a non-native organism into an ecosystem to control another non-nativeorganism. An example is providing plants as egg laying sites for a native butterfly that competeswith a non-native species such as the cabbage moth. Indirect Bioeradication can be a result ofthis.Negative is using a native organism to destroy a biological resource that a non-native organismneeds which is in competition with a native organism. This may be planting native wildflowersin a meadow to remove a grass needed by a non-native moth such as food, egg laying sites orshelter.
  14. 14. Resource enhancement/depletion – This is enhancing a resource needed by a nativebioeradicant to help it eradicate a non-native species. By changing the conditions in anecosystem, the competitors’ dominance and status in the ecosystem changes. This may be achange in the humidity which changes the fungi associated with a competitor, either increasingor reducing its ability to compete and function in an ecosystem. Or changing the conditionsneeded by a native competitor on that competitor. It is similar to a domino effect except that itis about changes on one component of an ecosystem causing changes on another organismwhich affects that organism’s ability to survive and/or compete in that ecosystem. This is astrategy which should be used carefully and with much forethought due to the very strongpossibility that by changing the abiotic environment, more damage than good can be done. Thesame is true with the biological components of an ecosystem. One change can cascadeuncontrollably in an unforeseen direction which causes more harm than the original problemdid.This may be as simple as removing a dam to allow fish to migrate along a river corridor, addingstepping stones in a creek to facilitate drinking by native animals or changing a meadow back toa flooded meadow to remove burrow sites.
  15. 15. Bioremediation – the use of native organisms to displace or replace non-native organisms asthey are eliminated from an ecosystem. This is an expansion of the traditional definition ofbioremediation into an ecological usage beyond the microbial level. Whereas, traditionalbioremediation is the use of microorganisms to mitigate chemical or organic pollution, this is theuse of the term to mean use of native organisms to restore an ecosystem during and after theremoval of a non-native organism or non-native organism system.The use of Indirect Bioeradication is one inherent way of doing this as it places native specieswhich already have a place in the ecosystem back into the natural succession process. This fillsthe ecosystem’s temporal and spatial gaps left by the eradication of the non-native species. Thisin turn prevents reinvasion by non-native species.
  16. 16. In Bioeradication we are trying to understand all the relationships within an ecosystem to findnative organisms to hinder and eradicate non-native organisms. We are looking more forsystems composed of many organisms than single organisms or “magic bullets” as systems aremore stable due to their complexity and composed of multiple strategies for destroying non-native invasives. Therefore, bioeradication systems are more able to adapt to changingenvironmental conditions, the changing gene structure and the changing strategies used by aninvasive non-native.
  17. 17. Adaptation of Novel Weapons or their development is a major component of EICA in theongoing and continual changes of adaptation to changing ecosystem conditions by non-nativespecies. Bioeradicants are able to neutralize the Novel Weapons by being immune to theireffects due to experience with natives using the same or similar “weapons”, adapting presentdefenses or by developing new defenses. The more native congeners or confamiliars of theinvasive the native bioeradicant uses, the more apt it is to have the genetic and/or behavioraltools to pace with and out pace the changes in the non-native. Therefore, also the larger thenumber of congeners and confamiliars in an ecosystem, the greater the chance abioeradicant/bioeradicant system will develop. This is due to potential bioeradicants beingadapted to the defenses of native congeners or confamiliars and having been potentiallyexposed to similar “weapons” or the genes responsible for them. Thus the defenses, the abilityto adapt already in place defenses or the ability to develop new defenses to Novel Weapons isalready in place in bioeradicants. The result is either the non-native is outcompeted by thebioeradicant or the non-native is used as an energy source by the bioeradicant. Most probablyit is a combination of both that will be most effective.
  18. 18. ERH and EICA are continuing processes throughout the residency on non-natives in the newecosystem, including failed introductions. The evolution of bioeradicants begins at the momentof introduction of the non-native. After the non-native is eradicated, the native bioeradicantsremain in the system with genes and physical/chemical structures already in place should thenon-native or a relative try to reenter the ecosystem. This allows the native bioeradicants toswiftly deal with new attempts of invasion by the non-native or its close relatives.Bioeradication starts being effective when native bioeradicants evolve beyond the effects of ERHand faster than EICA can keep pace with the evolving new defenses and adaptations of nativeorganisms and the changing conditions which cause them to either use the non-native as anenergy source or out-compete it for an essential resource.The EICA/Bioeradicant process is a continuing process until the non-native goes extinct in theinvaded ecosystem.
  19. 19. Combined, EICA and ERH explain the first parts of an invasion, up into the logarithmic growth.What they do not explain is the evolution of native organisms into bioeradicants andbioeradicant systems when population densities begin to level and crash at similar rate as theirincrease in the ecosystem. When plotted, this will be similar to a bell curve or Gaussiandistribution as natives adapt to the non-natives and drive them to extinction by outcompetingwith them for resources or by the non-native becoming an energy source for the bioeradicant.The highest probability is that a bioeradicant system develops which contains multipleorganisms using multiple strategies which outcompete the non-native for a critical resource(s)and/or use it as an energy source. That this will be a system means that it will be slower to formand become obvious due to the increased complexity as compared to a biocontrol or abioeradicant, even though individual components will develop at different rates and becomeapparent at different times, seasonal and temporal.
  20. 20. There is a critical point in time or critical population density of the non-native needed for abioeradicant/a bioeradicant system to develop and target the non-native. Once this point isreached there will be decreases in the population size and density of the non-native in line witha Gaussian curve, i.e. a temporary continuation of the increase in population size of the non-native followed by a plateau or peak and then a decrease as the effects of the bioeradicant(system) begins to take effect. The more native congeners and confamiliars of the non-nativeand its biocontrols, the potentially lower the critical point will be on the curve both in time andthe population density of the non-native. There is also a spatial component in that the closerspaced members of the non-native are, the easier it is to spread genes, behavioral patterns andmembers of the bioeradicant (system) to other individuals in the non-native population. Inother words, critical densities may be the overall population size of a non-native organism in anecosystem along with the population density of organisms in a set area and the density of thepotential bioeradicants. This is seen with Lonicera morrowii, Rosa multiflora and Ailanthusaltissima. All three invasives not only have a high density of individuals in an ecosystem, buthave dense stands of individuals. Thus the spread of the bioeradicants, their genes andbehaviors are doubly enhanced due to stand density and the overall density of the invasive in anecosystem.
  21. 21. The biggest question asked about bioeradication is why it has not been seen and recorded? Theanswer is threefold. The first reason is that we are not looking for it. Second, bioeradicationmay happen before we are aware of a problem it took to extinction. Third, is that this may takemany years to hundreds of years to happen. In essence, the process of bioeradication mayhappen too fast to be noticed. Or, it may happen too slowly to be noticed by a researcher orschool of researchers.
  22. 22. The most important part of what is being presented is that it is not complicated. Humans havethe horrid ability to complicate the simple and obvious. They also have the destructive desireand ability to tinker. After they are done tinkering, bad data is gathered and called goodbecause the numbers meet certain parameters. Whereas, if the tinkering was not done in thefirst place, there is no need to tinker again and the data gathered is actually good. A primeexample of the tinkering mindset is seen in my health issues – diabetes and bipolar II. Fordiabetes, instead of eating healthy, avoiding toxic chemical rich foods and exercising,medications are prescribed, artificial sweeteners are suggested and a whole industry isdeveloped that would not be necessary if we did not tinker with the foods in the first place andwent out for a walk every day. The same is true with bipolar II. Instead of dealing holisticallywith the condition, we are fed medications until we are insensate and celebrate because wehave “controlled” it. We do the same with ecological systems, tinker until it breaks and thentinker again to try to fix it. Then celebrate our apparent successes.
  23. 23. Finally, biology and ecology are tremendously complex. Reducing phenomena down to one ortwo rules or variables is unrealistic. As scientists, we search for absolute and straightforwardanswers in the simplest terms. Unfortunately, for every apparent absolute rule in biology andecology, there are many shades and variations. What is written here is an outline in thebroadest sense of what happens in an ecosystem, not finitely detailed descriptions with all thevariables. For instance, with Ailanthus altissima, the herbivorous insects which feed on it andthe pathogenic fungi which infect it require different conditions to flourish. What is true in afield is not necessarily true on the edge of a wetland where there is more available water. Lowmoisture favors the herbivorous insects. Higher moisture favors the pathogenic fungi. Both setsof organism are present in both situations. However, the effects of each organism differ in thedifferent conditions, even though the combination is often fatal in both situations to Ailanthusaltissima.
  24. 24. Constructive input is asked for so this concept can be strengthened and safer practicesdeveloped than are presently used.
  25. 25. The Slideshare.net presentations are at:http://www.slideshare.net/hacuthbert/gardner-biocontrol-nenhc-2013http://www.slideshare.net/hacuthbert/gardner-ailanthus-nenhc-2013
  26. 26. Now it is time for me to take a walk in the woods.
  27. 27. Richard Gardnerrtgardner3@yahoo.comJune 19, 2013

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