Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GIANT ALIEN Report Summary

Project ID: EVK2-CT-2001-00128
Funded under: FP5-EESD
Country: Switzerland

Information on the impact of natural enemies (insect herbivores and pathogens) on the population biology of H mantegazzianum within its native range

We examined the impact of two guilds of herbivores: external feeders and endophagous insects. A general result is that mature H. mantegazzianum plants are quite tolerant to herbivory. This is achieved by several defence mechanisms:
(1) chemical defense by furanocoumarins,
(2) mechanical defense by trichomes,
(3) defense by ants, which are attracted on a mutualistic basis.

These mechanisms are inducible, this means, they can be increased if necessary. Since it is rather difficult to overcome this defensive shield, the selection of a suitable biological control agent will be very difficult.

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