Navigation Links
Insect release proposed to control exotic strawberry guava
Date:5/22/2008

U.S. Forest Service scientists with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry have submitted a proposal to release a Brazilian insect to control the spread of strawberry guava, a South American tree that has invaded and degraded native Hawaian ecosystems since it was introduced in 1825 as a garden plant.

The scientists are working in collaboration with the Hawai Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Hawai Department of Agriculture, agencies responsible for issuing permits authorizing release of the insect on Hawaian Islands. Initial release of the insect is proposed for this summer in the Olaa Forest Reserve on the Big Island.

Land managers are particularly concerned about the plant because it has potential to invade nearly half the states land area, forming dense thickets that crowd endangered native species and impede access to residential property. Past control methods have been limited to removal by hand, herbicides and bulldozers.

Strawberry guava also affects Hawaian cultural practitioners who can no longer collect native plants once found in abundance in forests. In addition, it hosts non-native fruit flies that have cost the state billions of dollars in lost agricultural revenue.

Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry scientists were tasked with finding a biocontrol agent for strawberry guava to protect remaining native ecosystems, improve control of fruit flies and reduce dependence on chemical herbicides. Biocontrol agents in Hawai have been used for more than a century, including for control of prickly pear cactus, lantana, banana poka and ivy gourd.

Non-native plants became invasive in Hawai because they escaped the animals, insects and diseases that naturally kept them in check so the scientists traveled to Brazil where insects evolved to prey specifically on the tree.

Field research yielded the insect Tectococcus ovatus, or the Brazilian scale, which hatches nymphs that settle on strawberry guava leaves, inducing the plant to build a bubble-like gall to enclose it. The plants vigor is reduced and it stops producing fruit, decreasing its spread over a period of years. The insect does not kill the plant outright.

Observations in Brazil that began in 1993 and testing at the Hawai Volcanoes National Park Quarantine Facility the past six years have shown the insect is highly host-specific and will only attack strawberry guava, not common guava or other members of the plants family in Hawai.


'/>"/>

Contact: Roland Giller
rgiller@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Oregano oil works as well as synthetic insecticides to tackle common beetle pest
2. Insects use plant like a telephone
3. Insects evolved radically different strategy to smell
4. Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a higher CO2 world
5. Insecticide combo delivers knockout punch
6. Birds, bats and insects hold secrets for aerospace engineers
7. Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency
8. Insects giant leap reconstructed by founder of sociobiology
9. Insect gut detects unhealthy meal
10. Tiny pest-eating insect fights fruit flies
11. ESA celebrates 100 years of insect science journals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2017)... , Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass boiler ... of the biomass boiler market globally in terms of ... biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers has been ... end-user, application, and country/region. The market based on feedstock ... forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... The biometrics market has reached a ... organizations, desires to better authenticate or identify users ... challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working its way ... is driven by use cases, though there traditionally ... uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases encompassing authentication, ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... New York , February 7, 2017 ... as ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or ... management and electronic transaction processing services, is pleased to ... of the Company. Effective January 31, 2017, ... the Board of Directors, CEO and President.  An experienced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... and scientists from around the world, is pleased to announce the 2nd annual ... 23, 2017. This premier, online-only conference focused on the development and advancements in ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Dublin - Research and Markets has announced ... Type, By Application, By End User, By Region, By Country: Opportunities ... ... is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 11.33% during 2016-2021. ... protection market is driven by the surging demand for less toxic ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 2017 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... that validated the ability of the Aethlon HemopurifierĀ® to ... mortality in immune-suppressed sepsis patients and also contribute to ... objective of the study was to validate the ... (EBV) and Herpes Simplex virus 1 (HSV1) by the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Pharma and biotech consulting firm ... director. Operating from Pennsideā€™s Zurich headquarters, Pennside Partners, GmbH, Mr. Perkins brings 14 ... more than a decade with leading market research firm, GfK. He began his ...
Breaking Biology Technology: