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Advances in genetic, geospatial techniques aid efforts to fend off invasive insects


by Entomological Society of AmericaIn the fight to protect native ecosystems from invasive insects and related arthropod species, promising new tools are arising from rapid advances on a pair of research fronts: genetic analysis and geospatial technology.

At ports of entry in the United States, for instance, fruit flies hitchhiking in cargo can now be identified to species with DNA barcoding. And fine-scale environmental data combined with knowledge of insect lifecycles is putting simple maps that forecast pest emergence in the hands of forest managers across the country. These examples and more are showcased in a pair of new special collections in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America, published in a partnership between ESA and the National Invasive Species Council (NISC).

"We sought papers that exemplified both cutting-edge technologies and practical implications for improved management," says Stanley Burgiel, Ph.D., NISC executive director. "New and innovative solutions are needed to address the continued and growing challenges posed by invasive species."

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