Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Prospects and risks of biological control of wilding Pinus contorta in New Zealand.

Abstract

Wildings from exotic tree plantations are a major threat to New Zealand's native vegetation and landscapes. The insects associated with the reproductive structures of the most significant invasive tree, Pinus contorta, are reviewed with regard to their suitability for biological control. Based on host species and structure specificity and their impact on seed production, Conophthorus ponderosae, Eucosma rescissoriana and Pissodes validirostris are the most promising biological control candidates among the 16 North American or Eurasian insect species recorded as feeding on P. contorta cones. Further studies are needed to assess whether these insects could significantly reduce the rate of spread of P. contorta and would not pose a threat to any native plants or plantation forestry trees.