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BNI March 1999 Vol 20. No.1 : Review

P. Syrett, S. V. Fowler, E. M. Coombs, J. R. Hosking, G. P. Markin, Q. E. Paynter and A. W. Sheppard.

The potential for biological control of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)(Fabaceae)and related weedy species. BNI 20(1)

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Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) is an aggressive invader of agricultural, forestry, and conservation lands in many parts of its exotic range. Biological control programmes for Scotch broom with insects began in the USA in the 1950s, in New Zealand in 1981, and in Australia in 1990. Two insect species (Exapion fuscirostre and Leucoptera spartifoliella) have been intentionally introduced into the USA, two (Bruchidius villosus and Arytainilla spartiophila) into New Zealand and three (L. spartifoliella, B. villosus and A. spartiophila) into Australia. Also, nine broom-feeding species were accidentally introduced into North America, and one into New Zealand. Scotch broom remains a problem weed in all three regions, and other related `brooms' in the tribe Genisteae, also of European origin (Cytisus striatus, Genista monspessulana, Genista linifolia, Genista stenopetala, and Spartium junceum), now give cause for concern. In Europe 243 phytophagous insects and mites are associated with Scotch broom, and from these, and species recorded from other brooms, further possible insect biological control agents have been identified. Insufficient host specificity, and the risk of damage to closely related non-target plants, may limit the use of some oligophagous insect species. However, several host-specific insect and mite species have been identified that may contribute to managing Scotch broom throughout its exotic range. Pathogens have been identified that could be used as classical biological control agents, or developed into mycoherbicides. The development of insects, mites, and pathogens for control of broom species will contribute to sustainable management of an important group of problem weeds.

S. T. Murphy and B. R. Briscoe

The red palm weevil as an alien invasive: biology and the prospects for biological control as a component of IPM. BNI 20(1)

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Abstract :
The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, invaded the Gulf states in the mid-1980s, where it is now causing severe damage to date palms. This polyphagous insect is widely found in southern Asia and Melanesia where it is a well-known problem for the damage it causes to coconuts grown in plantations. In this region, the weevil is sympatric with four other Asian Rhynchophorus species but the taxonomic status of some of these is unclear and some may be conspecific with the red palm weevil. Current tactics to manage the weevil in the Gulf and Asia are largely based on insecticide applications although there are now deep concerns about environmental pollution. Much research has been conducted on other techniques, notably pheromone traps. However, there is now a strong emphasis on the development of integrated pest management (IPM) based on pheromone traps and biological control rather than insecticides. Here we review the biogeography, basis of population outbreaks and current management tactics for the red palm weevil and related species, and then assess the potential of biological control to underpin the development of an IPM programme for it.

Orietta Fernández-Larrea Vega

A review of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)production and use in Cuba BNI 20(1). BNI 20(1)

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