eCite Digital Repository

Economic appraisal of Sirex Wood Wasp (Sirex noctilio) control in Australian pine plantations


Cameron, NL and Carnegie, AJ and Wardlaw, TJ and Lawson, S and Venn, T, Economic appraisal of Sirex Wood Wasp (Sirex noctilio) control in Australian pine plantations, Australian Forestry, 81, (1) pp. 37-45. ISSN 0004-9158 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA)

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049158.2018.1430436


Sirex noctilio (Sirex) is an exotic wood wasp and a pest of Pinus that has been in Australia for 65years. Our study quantified expenditure on Sirex control between 1952 and 2014 through the National Sirex Control program, and costed the impact of three major outbreaks where large-scale tree mortality occurred. We estimate the combined cost of the program and the outbreaks at $34.5 million (net present value using a 1952 baseline and a 5% discount rate). Expenditure on the program was estimated at $24.8 million, while the combined plantation timber losses from the three studied outbreaks Pittwater, Delatite and the Green Triangle were valued at $9.7 million. Much higher expenditure values were generated when discounting was limited to the year that the outbreaks commenced. The outbreak at Pittwater, Tasmania commenced in 1952 and had estimated losses of $5.7 million or $5161ha(-1). This outbreak provided the best insight into the potential of Sirex to impact timber values under a no control' scenario. The Sirex outbreak in the Green Triangle, which commenced in 1987, was costed at $21.6 million. It was Australia's largest outbreak and occurred at a time when proven control methods were available. Study of the National Sirex Control program highlights the threats that exotic pests pose to Pinus plantations in Australia. Where realised, these threats can translate to major timber loses and costly control programs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biosecurity, Pinus plantations, cost-benefit analysis, net present value, NPV, discount rate, tree mortality
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Agroforestry
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Wardlaw, TJ (Dr Timothy Wardlaw)
ID Code:151764
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-08-04
Last Modified:2022-09-20

Repository Staff Only: item control page