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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: August 2009

10 - Insect pests in plantations: Case studies

Summary

The general aspects of pest problems of plantations were covered in Chapter 5. In this chapter, detailed case studies are given for selected, representative plantation tree species of the tropics. For each tree species dealt with, a brief tree profile followed by an overview of the pest problems is given, summarising the highlights of available information. As pointed out in Chapter 2, generally a large number of insect species is associated with each tree species, but not all of them cause serious damage. To merit categorization as a pest, an insect must be capable of causing economic damage, but relevant information is often not available. This is a handicap in listing the pests. The course followed here is to list the insects most commonly reported to cause damage to a tree species, irrespective of whether the damage is economically significant or not, so that a broad view of the actual and potential problems is obtained. This shortlisting is arbitrary, based on the available literature and the author's judgement, rather than on strict criteria. Following this listing and summary statements for each tree species dealt with, a pest profile of the major pests is given, outlining each pest's biology, ecology, impact and control.

Acacia species (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae)

Tropical acacias can be grouped broadly into true-leaf acacias and phyllode acacias. The phyllode acacias have their leaf modified into a thick, waxy phyllode, an adaptation to reduce water loss in dry and hot conditions.

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