F O R O R G A N I C F A R M I N G
When we use natural enemies to reduce invasive species populations, we refer to the natural enemies as "biological control agents," or sometimes "biocontrol agents." Biological control can be defined as the use of living organisms to depress the population of a pest. However, biological control could be more accurately called "biological suppression," i.e. reducing the population of the target weed to an acceptable level. Often the goal of those who use biological control agents on rangelands is to suppress the alien weeds and at least partially restore the native plant community.
Biological control involves using living organisms, such as insects, pathogens, or grazing animals, to suppress a weed infestation. Biological control attempts to recreate a balance of plant species with their natural enemies. Since many serious rangeland weeds are invasive exotic species, they have few natural enemies on this continent. Classical biocontrol focuses on introducing natural enemies from the weed's area of origin to local plant populations. Biocontrol methods generally suppress host weed populations, but may not contain or eradicate them. It is most effective on dense weed infestations over large areas.
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