Selecting non-target species for arthropod biological control agent host range testing: Evaluation of a novel method

TitleSelecting non-target species for arthropod biological control agent host range testing: Evaluation of a novel method
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBarratt, B. I. P., Todd J. H., & Malone L. A.
JournalBiological Control
Volume93
Pagination84-92
Date Published2016
KeywordsAnnual Report 2015-16, Biological control, Biosafety, Decision-support, Entomophagous biological control agents, Prioritising species, PRONTI
Abstract

Regulators often require risk assessment to ascertain biosafety of biocontrol agents before approval for release. Selecting the most informative non-target species for host range testing can be challenging. Here we compare traditional test list selection with a more objective method that selects species from a dataset of invertebrates from the receiving environment. A model, PRONTI (priority ranking of non-target invertebrates) ranks species using five criteria: hazard, exposure, potential ecological impacts from exposure, anthropocentric value and testability. For a case study, we used the braconid parasitoid Microctonus aethiopoides Loan released in New Zealand in 1982 for biocontrol of the pest weevil Sitona discoideus Gyllenhal. We compared species prioritised by PRONTI as worthy of testing with those selected prior to release. Several species which have been attacked in the field by M. aethiopoides since its release ranked highly suggesting that if PRONTI had been available pre-release, better predictions of non-target attack might have been made. The investment in time needed to adopt PRONTI needs to be balanced against its objectivity when comparing it with current conventional methods.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1049964415300566