The paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia became a serious pest in south Florida after invading from Australia. It causes great water loss from the Everglades region, and its pollen is allergenic. Invasion rates of native Everglades exceed 1000 acres per year. There is no satisfactory control, and periodic fires only enhance its spread.
Efforts were launched to secure phytophagous natural enemies from Australia. Many candidates have been studied, but to date the best hope appears to be the importation of a weevil, which is specific to paperbark tree. Early results in 1999 have shown great hope for a gradual decimation of the tree through feeding of the weevil on the leaves and stems.
REFERENCES: [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library ]
Burrows, D W; Balciunas, J K. 1997. Biology, distribution and host-range of the sawfly, Lophyrotoma zonalis (Hym. Pergidae), a potential biological control agent for the paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia. Entomophaga, v.42, n.3, (1997): 299-313.
Balciunas, J K. 1996. Australian insects for the biological control of the paperbark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, a serious pest of Florida, USA, wetlands. Delfosse, E. S. and R. R. Scott (Ed.). Biological control of weeds; VIII International Symposium, Canterbury, New Zealand, February 2-7, 1992. xxiii+731p. CSIRO Publications: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ISBN 0-643-05812-5. 1996. p. 247-267.
Burrows, D W; Balciunas, J K.. 1998. Biology and host range of Pomponatius typicus Distant (Heteroptera: Coreidae), a potential biological control agent for the paper bark tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, in southern Florida. Australian Journal of Entomology, v.37, n.2, (1998): 168-173.
Laroche, Francois B. 1998. Managing melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) in the Everglades. Weed Technology, v.12, n.4, (1998. Oct.-Dec.): 726-732.
Simberloff, D., D. C. Schmitz and T. C. Brown (Ed.). 1998. Strangers in paradise: Impact and management of nonindigenous species in Florida. xii+467p. Island Press: Washington, D.C., USA. ISBN 1-55963-430-8. 1998. p. 229-243.