Plant Health Policy Team: Consultation on the possible release of a biological agent to control Japanese Knotweed
(2009)
JNCC Consultation 0941
Submission by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Enclosed is JNCC's response to a consultation from the Plant Health Policy Team with regards to the control of Japanese Knotweed with the use of a biological agent. Submitted on 21st October 2009.
 
 

Summary of key points

 
JNCC recognises the impact that the widespread invasive non-native plant Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica var. japonica) is having on biodiversity in the UK, principally through competitive exclusion of native plant species along watercourses, as well as the more general economic impacts. It is also important to note that the spread and impacts of invasive non-native species are increasing at a global scale and it is necessary to develop a range of methods for reducing those impacts. Biological control has the potential to be very effective and less environmentally damaging than other methods, such as the widespread and continued use of pesticides.
 
The consultation documents regarding release of the non-native psyllid Aphalara itadori for classical biological control of F. japonica show that the release of A. itadori has been well researched and assessed and that the associated risks are generally low. If the release goes ahead, is successful and achieves its aims the potential benefits are high and could result in significant reduction in the spread of F. japonica, and reduce the levels of chemical and physical control required.
 
 
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Please cite as: JNCC Consultation 0941, (2009), Plant Health Policy Team: Consultation on the possible release of a biological agent to control Japanese Knotweed, Submission by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee