Infiltration of a Hawaiian Community by Introduced Biological Control Agents

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1314-1316
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060788

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To examine the community-wide effects of introduced biocontrol agents on Kauai Island, Hawaii, we constructed quantitative food webs showing interactions among plants, moths, and moth parasitoids in a native forest. Eighty-three percent of parasitoids reared from native moths were biological control agents, 14% were accidental immigrants, and 3% were native species. Although parasitism by biological control agents reached 28% in some species of moth, all biocontrol agents reared had been released before 1945. This study highlights the importance of considering the potential damage caused by an introduced control agent, in addition to that caused by the target alien species.

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