Relative susceptibility of four species of African mahogany to the shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in the moist semideciduous forest of Ghana

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We examined the relative susceptibility of four mahogany species, Khaya ivorensis, Khaya anthotheca, Entandrophragma angolense, and E. utile, to Hypsipyla robusta attack. Seeds were obtained from one to three parent trees for each species. The research was conducted in the moist semideciduous forest zone in Ghana and used a randomized complete block design. Tree height and diameter and height to first branch were measured until 24 months after out-planting in the field. H. robusta damage was assessed by counting the numbers of shoots attacked, branches, and dead shoots. Khaya spp. grew better but experienced more attack than Entandrophragma spp. The relative susceptibility to H. robusta attack, from most to least, of the four species was: K. anthotheca > K. ivorensis > E. angolense > E. utile. At 24 months, the mean number of shoots attacked per tree ranged from 1.0 for an E. utile seed source to 3.6 on for a K. anthotheca seed source. At 15 months, K. anthotheca and K. ivorensis started branching at about 1.5 m, but height of clear trunk increased over time due to self-pruning. As K. anthotheca grew taller, the number of H. robusta attacks per tree declined. This suggested that selection of genotypes and species that are tolerant of H. robusta attack based on infestation of young plants may not be appropriate. Genetic factors more completely reflecting the response of different species and genotypes to H. robusta attack may manifest themselves at later growth stages. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Forest Ecology and Management