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Refining the process of agent selection through understanding plant demography and plant response to herbivory

Raghu, S. and Wilson, J.R. and Dhileepan, K. (2006) Refining the process of agent selection through understanding plant demography and plant response to herbivory. Australian Journal of Entomology, 45 (4). pp. 308-316.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-6055.2006.00556.x

Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/home

Abstract

Understanding plant demography and plant response to herbivory is critical to the selection of effective weed biological control agents. We adopt the metaphor of 'filters' to suggest how agent prioritisation may be improved to narrow our choices down to those likely to be most effective in achieving the desired weed management outcome. Models can serve to capture our level of knowledge (or ignorance) about our study system and we illustrate how one type of modelling approach (matrix models) may be useful in identifying the weak link in a plant life cycle by using a hypothetical and an actual weed example (Parkinsonia aculeata). Once the vulnerable stage has been identified we propose that studying plant response to herbivory (simulated and/or actual) can help identify the guilds of herbivores to which a plant is most likely to succumb. Taking only potentially effective agents through the filter of host specificity may improve the chances of releasing safe and effective agents. The methods we outline may not always lead us definitively to the successful agent(s), but such an empirical, data-driven approach will make the basis for agent selection explicit and serve as testable hypotheses once agents are released.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:QPIF, Biosecurity Queensland, DNR&W
Additional Information:© The Authors. © Australian Entomological Society.
Keywords:Agent efficacy; matrix models; Parkinsonia aculeata; plant demography; resistance; susceptibility.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010 04:53
Last Modified:07 Jun 2015 15:09

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