Prospects for the biological control of the invasive cactus, Opuntia stricta using Dactylopius opuntiae, under conditions of rising atmospheric CO2

By Nic Venter, Blair W. Cowie and Marcus J. Byrne. Biological Control 176: December 2022, 105095.

Opuntia stricta photo by John Tann

Opuntia stricta. Photo: John Tann

Opuntia stricta is a problem in South Africa, where it is invasive. It can be controlled with a scale insect, Dactylopius opuntiae. However, increased CO2 in the atmosphere (due to global warming and pollution) makes the insect less effective, and this may have implications for biological controls such as these.

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