Eucalyptus fraxinoides tree, at Pampilhosa da Serra field trial, exhibiting a healthy condition.
Gonipterus platensis is an important insect pest of eucalypt plantations. Despite biological control by the egg parasitoid Anaphes nitens, economic losses remain high in several areas outside its native range where susceptible eucalypt species are grown in commercial plantations. The susceptibility to G. platensis of 17 Eucalyptus species was evaluated and possible alternatives for reforestation in high pest incidence areas were identified.
Context Gonipterus platensis is an important pest of Eucalyptus worldwide. Despite biological control, it causes significant losses to Eucalyptus plantations in several areas, requiring alternative management options.
Aims We analysed host preference of G. platensis towards 17 Eucalyptus species to identify less susceptible plant materials that could be used in areas of high pest incidence.
Methods Feeding damage was assessed in field trials in three consecutive years. No-choice and choice tests were conducted with Eucalyptus species of contrasting susceptibility.
Results Within subgenus Symphyomyrtus, all species from section Maidenaria were used by G. platensis for feeding. Within this section, E. globulus was always the preferred species, while E. nitens was the least preferred. Differences in susceptibility were less pronounced at high attack intensity by G. platensis. Eucalyptus saligna (section Latoangulatae) was the least preferred species among Symphyomyrtus. All species from subgenus Eucalyptus had low susceptibility to G. platensis, particularly E. regnans, which was never attacked under field conditions. The results were confirmed by choice and no-choice laboratory and semi-field tests.
Conclusion Significant differences in susceptibility to G. platensis were found between the 17 Eucalyptus species tested, which could be explored for reforestation with less susceptible plant materials.
Area of Eucalyptus globulus heavily infested by Gonipterus platensis (top) contrasting with healthy E. delegatensis not attacked (below)
Tree susceptibility, Defoliation, Eucalyptus snout beetle, Reforestation
Gonçalves, C.I., Vilas-Boas, L., Branco, M. et al. Annals of Forest Science (2019) 76: 63. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-019-0850-y
For the read-only version of the full text: https://rdcu.be/bIlVr
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.