Spatial ecology of Dermolepida albohirtum, a major pest of sugarcane in Queensland: importance of a landscape approach

Abstract : Ecology has become increasingly permeated by the notion that everything takes place within a spatial context and that the distribution of habitat may strongly impact on distribution, dynamics and evolution of natural populations. In the agricultural context, understanding the influence of landscape structure (i.e. arrangement, connectivity and quality of habitat patches) on the movements of insect pests and pest outbreaks has become essential for implementing good pest management strategies. The subterranean habitat of white grubs ("larvae") and ability of beetles ("adult") to fly through the landscape once emerged make these insects difficult to manage. Adult dispersal depends on spatial and environmental factors that are generally poorly understood in agricultural systems. Beetles spend much of each year as larvae, feeding actively on many roots of food crops (sugarcane, rice, sorghum, vegetables, grain legumes, pastures, etc.) as well as garden lawns and turf of golf courses. In Australia, 19 species of scarab beetles ('canegrubs') attack sugarcane and the greyback canegrub Dermolepida albohirtum Waterhouse (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is the most devastating pest, with estimated annual losses of AU$10 million. Information on the population dynamics is available at the field scale but studies have mainly focused on grubs and chemical management strategies for many years. However, information is scattered in many sources, particularly information on the adult behaviour at both the field and landscape scale. Major factors such as flight behaviour, feeding, resting, mating and oviposition sites in sugarcane, other crops and trees are little documented and mainly rely on old field observations. The lack of information on beetle behaviour impedes understanding of the distribution of this pest and hence application of efficient control methods. This paper provides an overview of the information already available on the ecology of this pest and present new tools that are currently used to investigate adult movement and damage distribution and the influence of the vegetation surrounding the sugarcane areas.
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Communication dans un congrès
Towards a multi-scale approach for improving pest management. System management for sustainable insect pest control: from local to regional approaches, Oct 2011, Montpellier, France
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Contributeur : Thierry Brévault <>
Soumis le : lundi 28 novembre 2011 - 14:23:30
Dernière modification le : lundi 28 novembre 2011 - 18:44:09

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  • HAL Id : cirad-00645678, version 1

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François-Régis Goebel, Nader Sallam. Spatial ecology of Dermolepida albohirtum, a major pest of sugarcane in Queensland: importance of a landscape approach. Towards a multi-scale approach for improving pest management. System management for sustainable insect pest control: from local to regional approaches, Oct 2011, Montpellier, France. 〈cirad-00645678〉

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