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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2010 10/C/722 UCD €28,275

Project Title:

'Green' Novel Approach for Weevil Control

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Olaf Schmidt

Project Abstract

This project will develop a novel protection strategy against herbivorous insect pests of woody plants with particular reference to Pine weevils in coniferous plantations.  The approach will exploit the anti-feedant properties of a natural mineral element, silicon (Si), administered as Si-amendments during seedling production or field planting.  The bioavailability of Si from different soils and plant uptake from a range of Si-rich sources (including industrial wastes, rock powders, crop residues, soluble Si-compounds) will be assessed using geochemical and isotopic methods.  The effects of enhanced Si levels in seedlings (Sitka spruce) on feeding damage by the Large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) and seedling survival will be assessed under controlled conditions and in commercial field plantations.  The project will make a highly innovative contribution to the COFORD Forest Research Programme, potentially leading to the replacement of synthetic insecticides with a radically different, ‘green’, highly economical, alternative strategy that uses natural source materials or waste products.  The core funding for this research project is in place (as a 4-year UCD Innovation Bursary); this application only seeks additional research costs to expand the scope and scale of the research, including external assistance in the form of expert knowledge and field trial expertise.

Final Report: