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Powdery bark in Eucalyptus accedens deters arthropods? An evaluation using ants

Majer, J.D., Cocquyt, R.D. and Recher, H.F. (2004) Powdery bark in Eucalyptus accedens deters arthropods? An evaluation using ants. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 87 (2). pp. 81-83.

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Powderbark wandoo (Eucalyptus accedens) has a powdery triterpenoid-containing substance on the surface of its smooth bark, which is formed from sloughing peridermal cells. When compared with the similar-appearing wandoo (E. wandoo), which occurs in the same area and which does not accumulate powder, fewer bark-associated arthropods are found. Exposure to this powder accelerated mortality of the ant, Iridomyrmex chasei, a species that tends scale and other sap-sucking insects on the foliage of eucalypts. Ants of this and two other species were unable to reach baits on the top of vertical wooden dowels that had been coated with powder taken from the bark of E. accedens. The powder may deter arthropods from living or moving on the bark by chemical or physical means. It is postulated that the function of the powder is to reduce the threat from herbivorous or scale-tending arthropods that may live on, or traverse, the bark of this species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Royal Society of Western Australia
Copyright: © Royal Society of Western Australia 2004.
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