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Biocontrol of Chromolaena odorata in Papua New Guinea

Day, M. D. and Bofeng, I. and Nabo, I. (2013) Biocontrol of Chromolaena odorata in Papua New Guinea. In: Proceedings of the Eighth International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Chromolaena odorata and other Eupatorieae, Nairobi, Kenya, 1-2 November 2010. ARC-PRPRI, Pretoria, pp. 117-126.

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Abstract

Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson (Asteraceae) is a significant agricultural weed in Papua New Guinea (PNG), affecting plantations, food gardens and grazing lands. It was the focus of a collaborative biocontrol program funded by the Australian Government between 1998 and 2007. Chromolaena was recorded at 680 sites in 13 provinces of PNG through surveys, field releases of biocontrol agents and feedback from public awareness programs. Three biocontrol agents, the moth Pareuchaetes pseudoinsulata Rego Barros (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), the stemgalling fly Cecidochares connexa (Macquart) (Diptera: Tephritidae) and the leaf mining fly Calycomyza eupatorivora Spencer (Diptera: Agromyzidae), were introduced to control chromolaena. Cecidochares connexa was found to be the most effective of the agents introduced as it quickly established at over 300 sites where it was released and spread up to 100km in five years from some sites. Experimental field plots established to determine the impact of the agents on chromolaena, showed that the size of chromolaena infestations decreased with the presence of C. connexa. A survey was conducted to quantify the social and economic benefits of biocontrol of chromolaena to landholders. Chromolaena is considered to be under substantial/significant control in nine provinces in PNG, with about 50% of respondents stating that there is less than 50% of chromolaena remaining following the release of the gall fly. This has resulted in landholders spending less time clearing chromolaena and the re-establishment of small-scale subsistence farms and the regeneration of natural vegetation. Crop yield and income generated from the sale of agricultural produce have increased by at least 50% since chromolaena was brought under biocontrol. It is anticipated that the gall fly will continue to spread and control chromolaena in areas where it has not yet reached, thereby further reducing the impact of the weed in PNG.

Item Type:Book Section
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Deposited On:12 Dec 2013 01:50
Last Modified:08 Jun 2015 16:01

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