Insect eating Fungi for use on HWA

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pauljost
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Insect eating Fungi for use on HWA

Post by pauljost » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:51 pm

Well, I've been watching for updates on the insect eating fungi in whey for treating hemlock woolly adelgid infestations. It was a topic of research by Scott Costa and others at the University of Vermont a few years ago. http://library.uvm.edu/jspui/handle/123456789/140

Finally, a little more information has trickled out. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has started a new web site for journals that it has begun to publish: http://www.fwspubs.org/

In the first issue of the first volume of the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, June 2010, there is an article entitled "Structured Decision-Making and Rapid Prototyping to Plan a Management Response to an Invasive Species," by Blomquist and Johnson of the Tennessee Technological University, McFadden of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and others from the USGS, US FWS, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. http://www.fwspubs.org/toc/fwma/current The topic of this article is "Adaptive Management for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid" http://www.fwspubs.org/doi/pdf/10.3996/JFWM-025 (7.5 MB) and it's research was conducted on the Cumberland Plateau of northern Tennessee. One of the treatments considered is helicopter spray application of 2.7 gallons per acre of a mixture of Koppert Biological Systems "MycoTal" (Verticillium lecanii-m) and MycoMax Bio-Accelerator at a final applied cost of approximately $50 per acre. (MycoMax alone in commercial volumes is estimated to cost approximately $6.40/acre.) They state that Imidacloprid was not considered due to cost and public concerns.

Reference:
http://www.koppert.com/products/product ... mycotal-1/
http://www.planeteureka.org/marketplace ... php?id=420

For further details, please download and read the free pdf article in the URL provided for the Table of Contents of the current issue of FWM.

On related issues, in late 2009, Michigan declared that their latest hemlock woolly adelgid infestation has been successfully eradicated. 31 hemlock trees had been harvested and 646 more treated with soil injections. The Michigan infestation in 2006 was traced to West Virginia nursery stock deliveries of nearly 2400 trees over 5-6 years. Then, in November, 2010, HWA was rediscovered in Park Township in Ottawa County near Holland, MI, near Grand Rapids, MI - close to Lake MIchigan in the southwestern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Feb. 2011 HWA Distribution Map: http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/hwa/maps/2010.pdf

(Now, we also have Emerald Ash borer spread throughout the western Great Lakes States. See EAB distribution map: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/M ... EABpos.pdf)

Regards,

Paul J.
Last edited by pauljost on Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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edfrank
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Re: Insect eating Fungi for use on HWA

Post by edfrank » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:37 am

Paul, ENTS,

I deleted a more indignant negative post I made immediately after reading the article you have cited. Overall this is simply a model that looks at the costs involved with treating fr HWA. If you read what they have done there is an unreasonably high success rate assigned to predatory beetle releases, in spite of most evidence that they are all but ineffective. I do not believe that many of the other assumptions in their model are realisitc either. They have concluded that even though they cost 10x as much and are less effective (by their own numbers) that the best benefits are derived from combining early infection beetle releases with later fungal applications. It does not address early fungal treatment, and seems to think that arboricultural methods - cutting down all of the hemlocks - is an effective treatment for HWA.

The study makes no sense at all, and their conclusions are not supported by their own data set. They have exaggerated the effectiveness of the beetles, many of the assumptions in the model are questionable...it is completely nonsense. It appears to be an effort to justify continuing the use of predatory beetles rather than an actual effort to look at the merits of various treatment options.

Ed Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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pauljost
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Re: Insect eating Fungi for use on HWA

Post by pauljost » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:04 pm

Ed,

I agree. I don't mean to endorse the article by providing a link to it, but provided it for informational purposes only. It seemed predisposed to a certain conclusion from the start. Anyway, at least the beetle success had a range of best to worst, but the best seemed way too optimistic. I provided it mainly to add new information to sources for the fungal components and potential costs. Until now, there has been little documentation presented on any progress to developing a commercial solution using the insect-eating fungi. It seems that the inventor is having trouble bringing the whey-based fungal application to market due to general lack of interest in the forestry industry. Papers like this imply that the answer to the adelgid is the release of some beetles and a bunch of cutting. It seems clear to us that there is no way that this could really work. Relatively expensive chemical application is the only nearly sure way to save a tree and the fungal application gives some hope for saving large scale groves where chemical costs for complete coverage are prohibitive.

Paul

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