Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Over the last two decades, scientists in Hawaii, Florida and Brazil have researched biological control as a new tool for managing strawberry guava, an invasive tree in Hawaiian forests. A leaf galling scale insect from Brazil, Tectococcus ovatus (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), was found to be highly target-specific and has been proposed for release in Hawaii. This natural enemy is expected to slow the spread of strawberry guava into native forests, with impacts developing gradually over a period of decades. Trees would not be killed, but would grow slower, and seed and fruit production is expected to decline over time. A State of Hawaii environmental assessment of the proposed biocontrol release includes data assembled by the Forest Service as well inputs from consultations with stakeholders and the public in recent years. The Forest Service remains engaged with state partner agencies to provide scientific information to help develop biological control as a management tool for conservation and restoration of Hawaiian forests.