Biological control agents may have unintended effects on native biota, particularly species that are closely related to the target invader. Here, we explored how Chrysolina quadrigemina , a beetle introduced to control the invasive weed Hypericum perforatum , impacts native H. punctatum in Tompkins County, New York, USA. Using a suite of complementary field surveys and experimental manipulations, we examined beetle preference for native and exotic Hypericum species and whether beetle herbivory influences the spatial distribution of H. punctatum . We found that the introduced beetle readily consumes native H. punctatum in addition to its intended target, and that H. punctatum at our field sites generally occurs along forest edges despite higher performance of experimental plants in more open habitats. However, we found no evidence that the beetle limits H. punctatum to forest edge habitats.
Tingle, J. L., Cook-Patton, S. C., & Agrawal, A. A. (2016). Spillover of a biological control agent ( Chrysolina quadrigemina ) onto native St. Johnswort ( Hypericum punctatum ) . PeerJ, 4, e1886. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1886