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:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... US Dollar project, for the , Supply and ... and IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: