Thursday, September 8, 2016

Control of Insect Pest Incidences in Commercial Forestry

Abstract of a Presentation conducted by 
Tharindu Dilshan
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science
University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

Commercial forestry aims to get maximum production of timber or other forest products as a business enterprise. However pest outbreaks cause devastating losses in commercial forestry sector. Therefore the pest outbreaks in commercial forest plantations should be controlled in effective manner.

In nature, most insect species are in a balance. However with catastrophic influences this natural balance can change favoring the insect species. This type of insect pests are called as indigenous insect pests. The introduction of new pests can also be catastrophic to natural environments, particularly where similar species do not occur naturally. Those type of insect pests are called exotic insect pests.

Teak skeletonizer, teak defoliator, teak stem borer and Hypsipyla shoot borers in Meliaceae are several insect pests which are causing damages to the Sri Lankan forest plantations.

Monitoring of insect pest diseases in forestry primarily can be done in three ways such as mechanical control, biological control and chemical control. In the late nineties, with the awareness about adverse effects of chemical control of insect pests integrated pest management concept was formed. Integrated pest management has two processes called decision process and action process. In decision process, a rational decision should be taken with available data. Then in the action process the decision comes in to the action. There are two strategies using here such as preventive strategies and suppression strategies. Under preventive strategies regulatory, cultural and genetic tactics are using prevent the insect pest incidents. Under suppressive strategies methods such as mechanical, biological and chemical control are using. The important thing is in integrated pest management, chemical control methods are using in the essential occasions only. So the damages to the environment and humans are minimal.

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