News of the WeekEcology

Parasitic Wasps Invade Hawaiian Ecosystem

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1241
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5533.1241

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Insects have frequently been drafted to fight invasive weeds and pests, but these so-called biological control agents can also attack innocent native species. Now comes the most detailed example yet of how deeply a control agent can infiltrate an ecosystem. On page 1314, ecologists report that parasitic wasps from Texas and China that were introduced into Hawaii more than 50 years ago to prey on sugarcane pests are now dominant players in the food web of a remote native forest.