Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol.   p.  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2019.0030

PROSPECTS IN SUSTAINABLE CONTROL OF OIL PALM PESTS AND DISEASES THROUGH THE ENHANCEMENT OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES – THE WAY FORWARD

Author(s): NORMAN KAMARUDIN*; IDRIS ABU SEMAN* and MOHD MAZMIRA MOHD MASRI*

The oil palm environment in Malaysia is rich in many ecosystem services which can be beneficial to control pests and diseases. Some examples are the soil microbes which consist of entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria which can be exploited for insect control, especially bagworms, rhinoceros beetle and termites. The bagworms (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) are currently severely infesting oil palm plantations in Malaysia. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of bagworms includes aerial spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), cultivation of beneficial plants and fixing of natural pheromone traps. The rhinoceros beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), can be managed with the soil fungus Metarhizium and the Oryctes nudivirus (OrNV). The subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) can be controlled with two entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae which perform similarly as an insecticide. The soil microflora, rich in soil antagonists, can be useful for the control of Ganoderma disease. The Integrated Ganoderma Management (IGM) approach is advocated, which aimed at minimising disease incidence in replanting and prolonging the productive life of the infected palm. Birds are also examples of ecosystem services which can be further exploited for the control of rodents and also insect pests. There are several endemic nocturnal and diurnal bird species inhabiting the oil palm plantation which have the potential to control pests, especially rats and bagworms. This article deliberates on some of the endemic ecosystem services in Malaysia which have been exploited towards the management of major pests and diseases in oil palm. The enhancement of existing and introduced ecosystem services would ensure better management of pests and diseases for the sustainable cultivation of oil palm.

Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
E-mail: norman@mpob.gov.my


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