Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


The phytosanitation of solid wood packaging materials using wood preservatives Public Deposited

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  • New species introductions have been associated with the movement of people for thousands of years. For instance, horses were introduced into North America by Spanish explorers, while pigs were introduced by the Polynesians into many Pacific islands long before the establishment of permanent European settlements. Both of these species introductions resulted in significant changes in both the biological and cultural composition of these places. However, during the past century, the amount of material transported by people has greatly increased due to the globalization of the economy and breakthroughs in material handling technology. These breakthroughs, such as the steel shipping container and the wooden pallet, allow goods to be moved rapidly in a protected environment. This protected environment prevents goods from being damaged while in transit, but it has also improved the ability of pests to survive transit and resulted in invasive species introductions. The volume of goods being transported has steadily increased during the past 50 years and, thus, the number of species introductions has increased as well, resulting in a number of high profile pest introductions. For instance, the introduction of the Asian long horned beetle into Chicago and New York cost millions of dollars to eradicate and resulted in the loss of hardwood trees that previously lined the streets of these cities. In response to the Asian long-horned beetle and the introduction of the pine wood nematode into Europe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations drafted and approved International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures Number 15. This measure recognizes solid wood packaging materials as an invasive species pathway and recommends sanitization through heat treatment or fumigation with methyl bromide. However, heat treatment or fumigation are imperfect mitigation tools. Thus, researchers continue to search for alternative methods. Wood preservatives have long been formulated to prevent insect and fungal attack of wood products exposed to warm humid climates, but the ability of these chemicals to eliminate existing insect and fungal colonies has not been investigated. In this study, a number wood preservative systems were investigated to determine if these chemical formulations can be used for this application and to determine if wood preservatives, in general, are suited for use in phytosanitary applications. A method for detecting the presence of wood boring insects through acoustic emissions was investigated. It was thought that a system of microphones and accelerometers could be used to detect wood boring insect presence and activity within a particular wood sample. These assumptions were based on earlier work conducted with termites. This system was to be used to determine if a sample contained wood boring insects prior to using it in the main study. However, acoustic emissions were not useful for this application, since feeding of the wood boring insects was sporadic, unlike termites which feed constantly. Determining the feasibility of using wood preservatives in phytosanitary applications was addressed in three trials: the ability of preservatives to penetrate insect galleries, the ability of the insect larvae and pupae to penetrate a treated barrier and the ability of established wood boring insect populations to complete their life cycle under field conditions in wood pressure treated with preservatives Preservatives completely penetrated between 80-100% of all insect galleries in western redcedar treated with ammoniacal copper quaternary compound, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, or imidacloprid. However, barriers containing any of these three chemicals failed to prevent larvae from exiting the treated material, even in instances where the barrier was more than 6mm thick. The wood boring insects were unable to complete their life cycle under field conditions in pressure treated wood, while a large number of new house borer adults emerged from the untreated controls. The wood preservatives investigated act more as insecticides than larvacides. However, vacuum pressure impregnation of solid wood packaging materials with the appropriate chemicals could provide lasting protection against invasive species introductions, allowing for the rapid, yet safe transportation of goods around the world.
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