Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) in the Sierra foothills
The International Broom Initiative (IBI) formed in 2000 to support cooperation in developing effective biological control agents for brooms and gorse. These woody legumes are a serious ecological and economic problem in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They invade and degrade coastal and mountain ecosystems, create a dangerous source of fuel for wildfire, and inhibit forest regeneration in logged timberlands.
The extensive host-specificity testing necessary to screen biocontrol agents requires significant resources, and IBI seeks to capitalize on economies of scale by researching biocontrol agents for multiple related invasive plant species and for use in multiple locations.
Through IBI, scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Albany, California have developed a working relationship with Australian researchers already conducting broom biocontrols research in France, as well as with state biocontrol experts in the California Department of Food & Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Since 2003, The Albany lab has received partial funding in its budget to support research of broom biocontrols. Cal-IPC continues to work to maintain and increase this funding.
Reports and Presentations
A search in Spain and Portugal for potential biocontrol agents for gorse (Ulex europaeus europaeus L.) in Hawaii. Funded by Parker Ranch, Inc., Hawaii, USA. Conducted by CSIRO Entomology. Compiled by Dr. Andy Sheppard. 2004.
Selection and testing of biological control agents for control of French broom Genista monspessulana (L.) L. Johnson – A final report for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, ODA project 801 GR. 2000.
Different fates of island brooms: contrasting evolution in Adenocarpus, Genista, and Teline (Genisteae, Fabaceae) in the Canary Islands and Madeira. Diana M. Percy and Quentin C. B. Cronk. 2002.
IBI Endorsements (collected Summer 2002-03)
Help make the case for funding the development of broom biocontrols by adding your organization’s endorsement. See the sample letter (Word document format) with instructions.
- California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
- California Department of Parks & Recreation
- California Cattlemen’s Association
- California Farm Bureau Federation [pending]
- California Forest Pest Council
- California Invasive Plant Council
- California Native Plant Society
- California Society for Ecological Restoration
- Ducks Unlimited
- Regional Council of Rural Counties
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- The Mule Deer Foundation
- The Nature Conservancy Invasive Species Initiative
- The Nature Conservancy of Oregon
- Calaveras County Board of Supervisors
- California Native Plant Society, Monterey Bay Chapter
- City of Fort Bragg
- Claremont Canyon Conservancy
- Del Norte County Department of Agriculture
- Fort Bragg Fire Protection Authority
- Glenn County Department of Agriculture
- Lake County Department of Agriculture
- Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
- Mendocino County Department of Agriculture
- Mendocino County Resource Conservation District
- Monterey County Agricultural Commission
- Napa County Department of Agriculture
- Plumas-Sierra Counties Department of Agriculture
- San Diego County Department of Agriculture
- Santa Barbara County Department of Agriculture
- Sonoma County Office of the Agricultural Commissioner
- Tuolumne/Calaveras Firesafe Council
Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom), Invasive Plants of California’s Wildlands
Cytisus striatus (Portugese broom), Invasive Plants of California’s Wildlands
Genista monspessulana (French broom), Invasive Plants of California’s Wildlands
Ulex europaea (gorse), Invasive Plants of California’s Wildlands
Brooms, Weed Workers’ Handbook (pdf)