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271.  Derived from:  Legner, E. F.  2011.  Biological Pest Control.  Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable and Local Food.  ABC-CLIO




         Natural enemies for use in biological control may be categorized into separate risk groups. Parasitic and predaceous arthropods fit into the lowest risk category, but are the most difficult to study and to assess for potential success. The policy of certain countries, e.g., Australia, of requiring intensive studies on native organisms before allowing them to be exported is especially devastating to the deployment of biological control. A recent case of invading Australian wood borers that attack eucalyptus in America has already caused the death of over half of the trees in California, while the importation of effective natural enemies continues to move at a crawl. Yet progress is being made with increased attention to basic ecological and behavioral research. The rate of biological control successes may drop initially as the style of "educated empiricism" (Coppell & Mertins 1977) becomes more widely adopted, as has apparently already begun (Hall & Ehler 1979, Hall et al. 1980). Success rates could be expected to increase as the database enlarges and intercommunication possibilities expand. Certainly the trend will ever more propel the activity of exotic natural enemy importation into a solid scientific base


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