Impoverishment of Sicilian (Italy) historical and cultural assets by an alien insect species:the case study of the Real Palm Weevil

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review


Microorganisms and insects have a disastrous impact on the biodiversity, cultural heritageand economy of a geographic area. However, in recent decades, the negativeeffects of invasive alien species (IAS), including both animal and plant or microorganismsoccurring outside their natural distribution range, are generally not well known.Invasive alien species are most often found in or near urban areas, as well asthroughout the settled landscape. According to the World Conservation Union,IUCN 2012, IAS represent the second most significant threat to biodiversity after resourcedepletion of habitats, becoming predators, competitors, parasites, hybridizersand diseases for native plants and animals. They often dominate the ecosystems theyinvade, upsetting the natural balance that existed prior to their introduction. In additionalien invasive insects can reduce the aesthetic value of urban landscapes and handicapthe development of tourism. They can, moreover, destroy urban infrastructuresand bring about so many disasters as to threaten urban ecological safety.The Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera:Curculionidae) is an IAS for Europe and is the most dangerous and deadlypest for many palm trees, on which its devastating effects are so evident. Accordingto the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization EPPO,the weevil, originally from Malaysia, is considered to be a quarantine pest and initiallybecame naturalized in isolated areas of southeast, southern, and western Asian countries.Today, the RPW is widely distributed in Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia,and more recently in Curaçao, Netherlands, the Antilles and Orange County, CaliforniaCDFA . It is also rapidly spreading in the Mediterranean basin through Phoenixcanariensis and P. dactylifera date palms; R. ferrugineus was first recorded in Sicily(Italy) in 2005.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)149-165
Numero di pagine17
RivistaConservation Science in Cultural Heritage
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012


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