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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Natural Enemies of Potentially Invasive Wood-Boring Insect Pests in Southwest China

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

Project Number: 8010-22000-023-27
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 29, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2017

Objective:
1. Survey and identification of natural enemy complexes (primarily parasitoid guilds) associated with wood-boring insect species infesting both native and introduced poplar trees in South China. 2. Evaluation of the role of major natural enemy guilds (egg and/or larval parasitoids) in suppressing or regulating population dynamics of targeted wood-borers such as buprestids (Agrilus spp.), longhorned borers and/or other groups. 3. Import promising egg and/larval parasitoids to USDA ARS quarantine facility for further assessment of their potential use in classical biological control against major invasive wood-borers such as A. glabriepennis and/or A. planipennis.

Approach:
1. Select one forest in southwest China with closely related tree species (congeners) native to China and introduced from North America or other regions that coexist in Southwest China. 2. Locate and identify at least one pair of congener species (one Asian, one North American for each genus) of deciduous trees in the general area (~50 km2) of the forest habitat. Likely tree genera to study will be species of poplar (Populus): the native poplar P. yunnanensis and exotic species P. deltoids. 3. Ten to 15 trees of each tree species, as described above at the selected forest habitat, will be artificially stressed by girdling to attract invading or potentially invading wood borers and their natural enemies. 4. All wood-boring insects infesting these girdled trees will be sampled, collected and identified together with their associated egg and larval parasitoids in the following spring or late fall after girdling. 5. In addition, a general survey of naturally infested trees of other common tree species such as pines (Pinus spp.) or oaks (Quercus spp.) will also be conducted at least once a year to document associated wood boring insects and their natural enemies. 6. Live specimens of key natural enemies, primarily egg and larval parasitoids, that show significant impact on wood borers in girdled trees will be collected and shipped to the Chinese Academy of Forestry (Beijing, China) or the USDA ARS Benificial Insects Introduction Research Unit (Newark, DE, USA) for further evaluation of their potential for use in biological control programs. These research steps will be replicated at least for two years (or growing seasons) to account for seasonal variations. Thus, it will take approximately three to five years to fulfill the research objectives, including the planning, execution of the research plan, data analysis, and wrapping up findings for publications.

Last Modified: 11/21/2014
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