Sunday, August 10, 2014

Invasive Alien Species - MALAYSIA (Pt 1)

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) as define by the National Invasive Species Council as an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm to human health. Most countries are signatories to one or more international agreements that include provisions for the protection of biodiversity from the negative impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). . IAS is an introduced species and established in areas outside its natural distribution of an area or country. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Malaysia as one of the signatory nation and is committed to develop national strategies, plans or programs for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity resources. In Malaysia, the spread of IAS had caused enormous economic and environmental losses such as reduce agricultural productions, harm to human health and destroyed of scenic view. Alien species introduced into the local habitats had caused threats to native species and its ecosystem and their occurrences ranged from various taxonomic groups that include viruses, bacteria, fungi, mosses, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As globalisation and transportation becoming more rapid, expanded opportunities are being provided for plants, animal and microorganisms to move beyond their natural range. Some of the alien species do not harm species, habitats and ecosystem and instead provide signifi cant benefi ts for farmers, traders and nation’s economy. However, some species may become invasive and can be costly for industries, competent authorities, site managers and society as whole. Some impacts on the biodiversity and ecological functions may be irreversible. Thus, the issue and threat of invasive alien species are very real and signifi cant as exemplifi ed by cases such as Papaya Ring Spot Virus, papaya Dieback, Coco Pod Borer, Diamondback Moth, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) and Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and many others. They have incurred losses to the agriculture industry amounting to millions of Malaysian Ringgits.

The spread of invasive alien species is creating complex for reaching challenges that need to address through concerted effort among the competent authorities. The action plan proposed on IAS in Malaysia will provide continued efforts to increase the awareness and information to the various stakeholders on the importance of alien species and ways to tackle them in balancing conservation and management 
of the resources with continued economic growth. I wish to congratulate the National Working Group for coming up with the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Species and urge all players in this fi eld to come forward and together strive towards achieving the targets and goal of the CBD Program of Work to ensure of the continued sustainable use of the national biological resources. Finally I look forward to the successful implementation of the action plan along with continuing and strong financial support from the Central Agencies of the Government of Malaysia. This article in "Anim Agro Technology" I would to share the information about IAS based on DOA's report.

Status of IAS in Malaysia
There are several incidences IAS invading this country. These incidences had great impact to the agriculture economy affecting crop production, fi sheries and livestock. However, the impact to the biodiversity is not well known judging from feedback of stakeholders. Some of the important IAS that had been establish in Malaysia are: 

1. Diamondback Moth (Plutella Xylostella)
This insect pest was found in Cameron Highlands in 1934 once the cultivation of temperate vegetables started. By 1941, diamondback moth (DBM) became a major pest of cabbage in the Cameron Highlands by 1941. This pest had developed resistant to pesticides and biological control had to be introduced in the late 80’s. To date, farmers spray 4-7 rounds of insecticides to control this pest in the fi eld to prevent losses.

2. Cocoa Pod Borer (Conopormopha Cramerella)
The introduction of this species into Malaysia is suspected associated with mature pods that are brought in for planting materials from Indonesia. The first CPB infestation was detected in Sabah in August 1980. Mean while in the same period, the pest had also spread and established itself in Sarawak, the neighboring state of Sabah. In Peninsular Malaysia the pest was detected in a cocoa estate in Jasin Lalang, Melaka in the 1985. When it was first detected, the Federal Government initiated a containment and eradication program to prevent the pest from spreading to other cocoa growing areas. However after 3 years of implementation, the program was suspended as this pest had widely spread throughout the country. Presently, this pest is considered endemic in Malaysia. 

3. Beet Army Worm
The beet armyworm is an important pest of wide range of economic crops and is widespread in the subtropical, tropical and temperate regions. This pest was fi rst detected in 1996 attacking hot pepper in Ayer Hitam, Johor. Subsequently, sporadic small outbreaks of Spodoptera exigua were reported in other parts of Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Kelantan. Now S. exigua has become an important pest of various crops such as onions, brinjal, legumes, chilli and crucifers. It is a major pest to vegetables.

4. Leaf Miners 
(Chromatomyia Horticola And Liriomyza Huidobrensis)
Both species are pests of economic importance on several vegetables and ornamentals in the temperate and tropical regions. In Malaysia, they occurred in Cameron Highlands where temperate and sub temperate vegetables and ornamentals are grown (Syed and Sivapragasam, 1999). It is believed that the introductions of temperate cut fl ower planting materials from Europe could have introduced the leaf miners into Cameron Highlands (Syed et. al, 2000). Pesticides are the major control used to suppress the populations. Sweet peas cultivation in Cameron Highlands stopped due to the heavy damage by these pests.

5. Citrus Greening Disease
Citrus Greening is a highly destructive disease of citrus cause by bacterium Candidatus liberobacter asiaticum and probably originated from China. This diseasae seriously affects citurs production in Asia Including Malaysia. This disease is only confirmed present in Malaysia in 1989. This disease becomes a major stumbling blocks to the health and growth of citrus industry. Citrus growers has to resort to insecticides to protects their crops from vectors that spreads the disease. In the long run this measure will create more problems, as the use of pesticides would contaminate the environments and increase costs of productions.

6. Papaya Ring Spot Virus
Papaya Ringspot Virus was originated from South America. In Asia it was first detected in Koushung, Taiwan in 1975 and at Luzon, Philipines in 1982. In Malaysia the disease was detected in Southern part of Peninsular Malaysia that is Johor in 1991 (That period I was working in Johor DOA). Following the discovery in Johor of PSRV, a nationwide survey was conducted to detect the disease. The results of the survey found out that the PSRV disease occured in Johor and other southern part but nit in Perak which was the second largest papaya producer in Malaysia. Since the PSRV was first detected, the area planted with papaya were reduced drastically as all plants in infested areaa were removed in order to eliminate the source of virus. Furthermore there is no new planting was done as the growers was move out from the infested area to new location to grow papaya such as in area like Segamat, Kuantan, Negeri Sembilan and other nothern state.   

7. Papaya Dieback (Erwinia papayae)
Bacterial Crown Rot disease (Erwinia papayae) is known to be present in Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Indonesia and Malaysia. The fi rst report of this disease in S.E. Asia was in Java in (von Rant, 1931). E. papayae was also reported as causing bacterial canker of papaya in the Caribbean by Gardan et al. (2004). In Malaysia, this disease was detected in 2003 in Johor and later it was confi rmed that E. papayae is responsible for the papaya dieback symptoms (Maktar, 2008). This disease has spread all over the Peninsular Malaysia thus affecting the papaya industry seriously leading to signifi cant reduction in production and losses in export market. Continue to read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Thanks.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Federal Agriculture Station,
Serdang, Selangor,
(14 Syawal 1435H)

1 comment:

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