Ep. 218 - The Cactoblastis Conundrum

Today we are talking about an invasive species issue that may spell disaster for some cacti in North America. The cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) originated in South America but has been moved all around the world as a form of biocontrol for invasive prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.). Thanks to some introductions into the Caribbean, it has since found its way to southern North America where it was the potential to seriously upset the balance for native prickly pear. This could be bad news because prickly pear are super important components of the flora wherever they occur. Joining us to provide some insights into the invasive cactus moth issue is Dr. Chris Brooks, an associate professor at Mississippi State University. His work focuses on the various nuances to invasive cactus moth ecology. What Dr. Brooks and his colleagues are finding is a more intricate picture of invasion biology than I ever realized. Join us for a fascinating and in depth look at this invasive species conundrum. This episode was produced in part by Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 81 - Contemplations on Biocontrol

No matter where you stand on the topic of invasive species, they are a force we must reckon with. My guest on this episode is working intimately with the ecology of an invasive tree known commonly as Tree of Heaven. Kristen Wickert is a PhD student at West Virginia University and she is investigating the use of a native species of fungus that is proving to be quit effective at ridding the landscape of this aggressive tree. Join us for a fascinating dive into the world of a plant pathologist. This episode was produced in part by  Allan, Gregory, Mark, Laura, and Margie.

Shoot Kristen an email at klw5421@gmail.com

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