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Kinmen National Park Invites Local Experts and Scholars to Research and Collaborate on Pine Wilt Nematode Prevention Measures

Date: 2019-04-17

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The Kinmen National Park Administration is currently implementing emergency logging measures to the infected pine trees of the Zhongshan Forest to eliminate the pest infestation of pine wilt nematode. On December 1, 2015 (Tuesday), the KNP Zhongshan Memorial Forest and Taiwu Mountain Pine Tree Survey and Seminar was held to discuss long-term forestry management solutions in order to maintain natural habitat equilibrium of the affected areas. Three domestic experts were invited to Kinmen to provide assistance and offer preventive methods. They are Professor Tzean Shean-Shong from the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, National Taiwan University, whose expertise lies in plant pathology; Professor Chiou Chyi-Rong from the School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, whose expertise is forestry management; and Researcher Hung Chau-Chin from the Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substance Research Institute, whose area of expertise is in insect pheromones, plant protection, and entomology.

The Kinmen National Park Administration indicated that the three experts offered the following suggestions regarding preventive measures for pine wilt nematode infestation. Professor Chiou Chyi-Rong stated that in establishing a pine wilt nematode damage and prevention surveillance system, automated camera drones can be used to film the perimeters of the affected areas and mark the positions of the affected trees, establish a database on the baseline information of the current situation and to also serve as a base of comparison for future surveillance, encouraging schools in Kinmen, NGOs or volunteer organizations to participate in disease progression survey of the pine forest and implement surveillance on the results of the preventive measures. Professor Tzean Shean-Shong proposed a basic survey on pine wilt nematode, an investigation on the vector insect types in the area, the density of the species groups, as well as to record pine wilt nematode transmission rate and design Japanese pine sawyer traps accordingly, to use the designed Japanese pine sawyer traps in conjunction with Japanese pine sawyer pheromones or fungi species which kill the Japanese pine sawyer, such as Beauveria bassiana (BB) and Esteya vermicola (EV). This method involves the attraction and collection of Japanese pine sawyer beetles as vectors of BB, EV, BB+EV and non-treatment, and the vector beetles are to be released into the affected areas, with surveillance systems used in conjunction to control the preventive effects.

Professor Tzean pointed out that pine wilt nematode infestations and prevention has currently been discovered in the US, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Kinmen, and Matsu, with the infestation in Japan being particularly severe. To solve the pine wilt nematode infestation from the root cause is the cultivatation of disease-resistant pine cultivars or the selection of resistant individual plants. Research has been taking place for many years in Japan, but currently there are still no disease-resistant cultivars being promoted. Palliative measures include using pesticides to eliminate the vector Japanese pine sawyer beetles. The aerial insecticide spraying method had been adopted; yet, due to environmental pollution, it has been discontinued. In addition, using fungi species as a preventive measure against Japanese pine sawyer beetles or pine wilt nematode is currently underway at the Kinmen Zhongshan Memorial Pine Forest area. Preventive measures and strategies are still being researched and improved.