Weed biological control in low- and middle-income countries.
Invasive alien plants have a significant impact on biodiversity, crop and pasture production, human and animal health, water resources, and economic development. As most low- and middle-income countries do not have the resources to actively manage invasive plants, many have intentionally introduced biological control agents to help manage their most important weeds. Some of these introductions have resulted in the successful control of numerous weeds such as Chromolaena odorata, Mimosa diplotricha, Pistia stratiotes, and Salvinia molesta. These successes are partly due to the reliance on biological control agents that have been tested and utilized elsewhere. However, despite the successes in weed biological control to date, many low- and middle-income countries are reluctant to pursue weed biological control, due to poor perceptions of biological control and lack of capacity. This results in missed opportunities to manage many weeds cost-effectively, and in so doing, increasing production costs and a dependency on herbicides.