Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 69, Issue 7, pp 757–767 | Cite as

The potential for monitoring and control of insect pests in Southern Hemisphere forestry plantations using semiochemicals

  • Ryan L. Nadel
  • Michael J. Wingfield
  • Mary C. Scholes
  • Simon A. Lawson
  • Bernard SlippersEmail author
Review Paper



Southern Hemisphere plantation forestry has grown substantially over the past few decades and will play an increasing role in fibre production and carbon sequestration in future. The sustainability of these plantations is, however, increasingly under pressure from introduced pests. This pressure requires an urgent and matching increase in the speed and efficiency at which tools are developed to monitor and control these pests.


To consider the potential role of semiochemicals to address the need for more efficient pest control in Southern Hemisphere plantations, particularly by drawing from research in other parts of the world.


Semiochemical research in forestry has grown exponentially over the last 40 years but has been almost exclusively focussed on Northern Hemisphere forests. In these forests, semiochemicals have played an important role to enhance the efficiency of integrated pest management programmes. An analysis of semiochemical research from 1970 to 2010 showed a rapid increase over time. It also indicated that pheromones have been the most extensively studied type of semiochemical in forestry, contributing to 92% of the semiochemical literature over this period, compared with research on plant kairomones. This research has led to numerous applications in detection of new invasions, monitoring population levels and spread, in addition to controlling pests by mass trapping or disrupting of aggregation and mating signals.


The value of semiochemicals as an environmentally benign and efficient approach to managing forest plantation pests in the Southern Hemisphere seems obvious. There is, however, a lack of research capacity and focus to optimally capture this opportunity. Given the pressure from increasing numbers of pests and reduced opportunities to use pesticides, there is some urgency to develop semiochemical research capacity.


Pheromone Kairomone Pest management Forest entomology Forest plantations 



Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP), the Department of Trade and Industry THRIP programme and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are thanked for financial support.


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Copyright information

© INRA / Springer-Verlag France 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan L. Nadel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael J. Wingfield
    • 1
  • Mary C. Scholes
    • 3
  • Simon A. Lawson
    • 4
  • Bernard Slippers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Institute for Commercial Forestry Research (ICFR)ScottsvilleSouth Africa
  3. 3.School of Animal, Plant and Environmental SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandWitsSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation and University of the Sunshine CoastBrisbaneAustralia

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