Native and exotic pests of Eucalyptus: a worldwide perspective.
Eucalyptus species, native to Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea, are the most widely planted hardwood timber species in the world. The trees, moved around the globe as seeds, escaped the diverse community of herbivores found in their native range. However, a number of herbivore species from the native range of eucalypts have invaded many Eucalyptus-growing regions in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America in the last 30 years. In addition, there have been shifts of native species, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America, onto Eucalyptus. There are risks that these species as well as generalist herbivores from other parts of the world will invade Australia and threaten the trees in their native range. The risk to Eucalyptus plantations in Australia is further compounded by planting commercially important species outside their endemic range and shifting of local herbivore populations onto new host trees. Understanding the mechanisms underlying host specificity of Australian insects can provide insight into patterns of host range expansion of both native and exotic insects.