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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 49, Issue 1 — January 2023

Integrated Visual Assessment Method for Infestation by Lebbek Borer (Xystrocera globosa) in Rain Trees of Singapore

Derrick Nguyen Hoang Danh, Muhammad Izaan bin Istijab, Muhammad Azhari bin Mohammad Zain, Xue Huiyu, Diana Chiu, Varughese Philip, Mei Lai Yap, and Abdul Hamid bin Mohammad

Abstract: Background: In Singapore, determining the level of infestation by lebbek borer (Xystrocera globosa)(Olivier, 1795)[Coleoptera: Cerambycidae] is the crucial first step in control of this pestra in rain tree (Albizia saman [Jacq.] Merr.)[Fabales: Fabaceae]. Current assessment methods rely on symptoms such as canopy colour, defoliation, dieback, and actual estimation of borer population via counting of larvae or exit holes created by adults. Currently, there is a lack of systematic approach to integrate different tree health indicators and symptoms to quantify infestation level. This gap poses challenges in assessment of treatment efficacy as managers could not quantitatively determine whether infestation level has changed following treatment. Thus, this study aimed to develop a visual assessment method that can integrate all mentioned symptoms to quantify infestation level. Methods: We surveyed a total of 388 rain trees and used principal component analysis (PCA) to investigate the correlation between X. globosa infestation and different borer infestation symptoms. Borer Infestation Score (BIS) formula was developed based on the linear combinations of the statistically significant principal component. Results: Infestation level was strongly associated with bark peeling, exit holes, and proximity of bark peeling and/or exit holes to trunk base and weakly associated with defoliation, dieback, and canopy colour. Developed BIS formula generated numerical values that distinguished between noninfested and infested trees, reflected infestation level in surveyed areas and temporal progression of infestation. Conclusions: Described integrated visual assessment method can be executed quickly on field. BIS formula generates quantitative scores easy to be interpreted, tracked, and compared.

Keywords: Albizia saman; Borer Infestation Score; Integrated Pest Management; Integrated Visual Assessment; Rain Tree Borer Infestation; Tree Health; Urban Forestry; Xystrocera globosa

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