Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Insect damage in Eucalyptus: a review of plantations in Chile.

Abstract

Chile has more than 330 000 ha of eucalypt (Eucalyptus) plantations, predominantly in the eighth to the tenth region (approximately 34 to 41°S). Eucalyptus globulus subsp. globulus is the principal eucalypt planted, but Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus delegatensis and Eucalyptus viminalis are also grown. There are four main insect pests that have been detected attacking these eucalypts in Chile: the defoliator Gonipterus scutellatus, the bark borers Phoracantha semipunctata and Phoracantha recurva and the native wood borer Chilecomadia valdiviana. More recently, Thyrinteina arnobia and Ctenarytaina eucalypti have been detected. Gonipterus scutellatus and P. recurva have been discovered in Chile within the last 2 years and it is hoped they may still be eliminated using a combination of biological control and chemical control of local populations. Phoracantha recurva and P. semipunctata are not considered a problem because attack only occurs in areas of water deficit, away from current eucalypt plantations. Chilecomadia valdiviana can damage plantations of E. nitens but rarely attacks other eucalypts. Chilecomadia valdiviana may cause future problems through further host shifts. Thyrinteina arnobia has only been detected during quarantine surveillance in the port of Valparaiso. Ctenarytaina eucalypti, recently detected in August 1999, had an initial limited distribution in the first region. However, since then, this insect has expanded its distribution south up to the tenth region. None of the insects recorded on eucalypts in Chile to date currently presents a threat to the eucalypt industry. It is also essential that additional resources are made available for their continued monitoring and control, particularly given that the 44% of plantations are held by small to medium property owners that would otherwise be unable to control a serious outbreak because of economic restrictions.