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    Inundative pest control: How risky is it? A case study using entomopathogenic nematodes in a forest ecosystem

    Harvey, Christopher D. and Williams, Christopher D. and Dillon, Aoife B. and Griffin, Christine T. (2016) Inundative pest control: How risky is it? A case study using entomopathogenic nematodes in a forest ecosystem. Forest Ecology and Management, 380. pp. 242-251. ISSN 0378-1127

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    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) are globally important inundative biological control agents. Their widespread use makes environmental risk assessment important, but very few comprehensive post-application risk assessments have been conducted for EPN. We apply a rigorous risk analysis procedure to the use of EPN applied in a forest ecosystem to suppress the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis). In this synthesis, we provide a quantitative evaluation of five risk categories: (a) establishment, (b) dispersal, (c) host range, (d) direct non-target effects and (e) indirect non-target effects. A low level of risk was identified (35–51 out of a possible total of 125). Species exotic to the clear-fell forest ecosystem (Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis downesi) were accorded a lower overall risk status than native species and strains (Steinernema feltiae), largely as a result of their shorter persistence in the target environment. We conclude that EPN are a low risk viable alternative control for pine weevil compared to the higher risk conventional control using pyrethroid or neonicotinoid insecticides.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Risk assessment; Inundative biological control; Entomopathogenic nematodes; Pine weevil; Forestry;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 16235
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Christine Griffin
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 14:46
    Journal or Publication Title: Forest Ecology and Management
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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