An ArcGIS Online (AGOL) page containing historical and predictive maps developed by James Hatten of the USGS for the southwestern willow flycatcher habitat across the southwestern United States. The model outputs a range of probabilities for suitable and less suitable habitat in 20% probability classes. This project shows that the satellite model adequately predicts flycatcher habitat rangewide, but it lacks the ability to predict which patches will be occupied in a given year.
Each year, with the help of numerous partners across thirteen states and Mexico, RiversEdge West produces an annual distribution map that notes the presence and absence of Diorhabda spp. from sampling sites across the west. The links below contain all archived tamarisk beetle maps spanning over a decade.
This report, contracted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) describes a vegetation-monitoring trip that was conducted on May 9-12, 2022, by John Leary (RiversEdge West) and Wally Macfarlane (Utah State University) from Bonanza Bridge to Asphalt Wash and a subsequent vegetation data analysis. The vegetation-monitoring trip and analysis evaluated the effectiveness of prior non-native vegetation removal efforts and established the baseline condition for planned upcoming treatments.
This study employs functional diversity metrics and guilds—suites of species with similar traits—to assess the influence of an invasive tree (Tamarix spp.) on riparian plant communities in the southwestern United States. Nine distinct guilds were identified with a gradient of functional diversity related to both tamarisk cover and environmental conditions. The identified guilds can be correlated to specific site conditions and can be used to anticipate plant community response to restoration efforts and in selecting appropriate species for revegetation.
Researchers looked at non-structural carbohydrate storage in different genotypes of Tamarix from an experimental common garden. Results suggest that Tamarix from colder locations cope with freeze events by maintaining large storage pools to support tissue regrowth, but with the trade-off of overall reduced growth and reproduction.
A look at several case studies from conservation practitioners and ornithological social scientists to highlight six core principles of translational ecology - an intentional approach in which researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines collaborate on conservation management. The authors demonstrate how implementing collaboration, engagement, communication, commitment, process, and decision-framing can lead to improved conservation decision-making and delivery of outcomes applicable to specific management decisions.
A two-part study looking at how changes in soil salinity affect tamarisk growth and how beetle-induced defoliation affects tamarisk growing in soils with different salinities. Results showed that tamarisk plants grow better in soils with a similar salinity to their own origin site and that lower salinity does not benefit tamarisk plants adapted to higher saline conditions.
A look at beetle-occupied tamarisk sites 11-13 years after initial occupancy to determine long-term vegetative community response. Study found that Tamarix cover across sites initially declined an average of ca. 50% in response to the beetle, but then recovered. Changes in the associated plant community were small but supported common management goals, including a 47% average increase in cover of a native shrub (Salix exigua), and no secondary invasions by other non-native plants.
Development of a novel repellant compound for the potential management of the northern tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata). Repellant has been shown to be effective on reproductive adults and alter the behaviors of 1st and 2nd instar larvae. Continued development and field deployment of this repellent compound may provide a new tool for the management of D. carinulata.
Stahlke et al. developed a reference genome for tamarisk beetles (Diorhabda spp.) and reference panel of all four introduced parental species to monitor range expansion and hybridization across North America. They found a substantial genetic bottleneck among D. carinulata in N. America, although populations continue to establish and spread, possibly due to aggregation behavior. Among hybrids, they found that D. carinata, D. elongata, and D. sublineata hybridize in the field, especially in eastern New Mexico, with D. carinata × D.
To what extent has invasive riparian vegetation (IRV) treatment reversed channel narrowing and reduced dynamism trends? Paired treated and untreated reaches at 15 sites along 13 rivers were compared before and after treatment using repeat aerial imagery to assess long-term (~10 year) channel change due to treatment on a regional scale across the Southwest U.S. Wieting et al. found that IRV treatment significantly increased channel width and floodplain destruction.
Clark et al. evaluated theoretical predictions for evolution of reproductive life-history and dispersal traits in the range expansion of the tamarisk biological control agent, Diorhabda carinulata, or northern tamarisk beetle. With experiments run on field-collected populations, they found that females at the expansion front had increased fecundity and body mass, and reduced age at first reproduction; and that dispersal increased at the expansion front in males, especially when unmated and reared at low density.
Does hybridization among tamarisk beetles change the risk of non-target attack in the field? Clark et al. study the consequences of hybridization in tamarisk beetles (Diorhabda). They paired laboratory phenotyping with genomics to assess changes in risk of non-target attack and body size and fecundity. Body size and early fecundity were similar in pure and hybrid females, indicating that hybridization is not detrimental to insect fitness or the biocontrol program and may provide variation that allows populations to become locally adapted.
What site conditions are associated with greater recovery and overall higher cover of willows? Goetz et al. performed a meta-analysis of tamarisk removal and willow (Salix) recovery across the southwest, compiling data from 260 sites where tamarisk was subject to active removal and/or biocontrol and 132 reference sures. Cut-stump method with biological control was the most effective method to improve native species dominance. Willow cover was generally highest in locations with low drought stress, as reflected by soil properties, distance to water, and climate.
A common garden study of six distinct Fremont cottonwood populations across an elevation gradient and covering a range of genetic variation to determine responses to different heat conditions. The common gardens had mean annual temperatures of 11, 17, and 23°C and all received regular watering throughout the growing season.
A study subjecting tamarisk from two distinct populations originating from areas with greatly varying soil salinities to a range of different salinities. Results showed dramatic differences between growth with the low salinity population accumulating 72% more biomass when grown at 4 ppt compared to 16 ppt, while the high salinity population produced 50% more biomass when grown at 16 ppt. Additionally, the high salinity population had a lower turgor loss point and exhibited greater stomatal control relative to the low salinity population.
A guide that walks the user through the use of the AGOL-based habitat viewer (https://usgs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b362c94bd7714969805ab7dd29336ce0). User is provided with instructions for changing base map layers, toggling through data layers, utilizing tools to compare different datasets, and locating the metadata for the provided layers. Manual uses screen shots of the AGOL platform to aid in seamless navigation.
The leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata Brullé subspecies deserticola Chen, collected in northwestern China, has been released in the western United States to control tamarisk (Tamarix spp.). While beetle establishment and saltcedar defoliation have been noted at northern study sites, this species has not established at latitudes south of the 38th parallel.
The northern tamarisk beetle Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers) was approved for release in the United States for classical biological control of a complex of invasive saltcedar species and their hybrids (Tamarix spp.). An aggregation pheromone used by D. carinulata to locate conspecifics is fundamental to colonization and reproductive success.
A presentation by Dan Bean at the 2020 RiversEdge West Conference about new knowledge on aggregation phermones, phenology, and genomics.
Riverine ecosystems are known to provide important habitat for avian communities, but information on responses of birds to differing levels of Tamarix is not known. Past research on birds along the Colorado River has shown that avian abundance in general is greater in native than in non-native habitat.