Irradiation as an alternative phytosanitary treatment for Arhopalus ferus and Hylurgus ligniperda
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameBachelor of Forestry Science
Wood products all require treatment to mitigate phytosanitary risk prior to exportation. The most common phytosanitary treatment applied to Pinus radiata logs is Methyl Bromide (MeBr). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010 stated that MeBr must not be release into the atmosphere past 2020. This poses a problem for New Zealand log exports. Radiation has been identified as a possible alternative phytosanitary treatment for export wood products. This study aimed to quantify the effective dose of radiation necessary to sterilise two forest pest species; Arhopalus ferus and Hylurgus ligniperda. These species are representative of two different types of forestry pests; bark beetles (H. ligniperda) and wood borers (A. ferus). All applicable life stages for both species were tested. Arhopalus ferus adults were the most susceptible life stage identified with an LD99 of 30.2Gy ± 13.5 Gy (95% confidence interval). Arhopalus ferus eggs were less susceptible with a LD99 of 750Gy ± 776Gy observed; however there is low confidence in this result due to a methodological issue in one treatment replicate. Hylurgus ligniperda eggs were observed to be less susceptible than A. ferus eggs with a LD99 of 289Gy ± 92Gy. Results for the other life stages were inconclusive due to poor control survival, however the information gained was used to develop improved methods for further experimentation, which is on-going and showing positive results so far. The results of this experiment have indicated that radiation can be an effective method of sterilising forestry pests. To date radiation has not been used as phytosanitary risk mitigation for wood exports; however it is widely used for risk mitigation in agricultural products. Currently there remains a large amount of unknown information regarding, the effectiveness for irradiation of logs, the effective dose require for sterilisation of the most tolerant forestry pest and public acceptability of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment. These knowledge gaps and an economic assessment must be completed before irradiation can be used as a phytosanitary risk mitigation technique for forestry products.