Project 4

The influence of resource availability on population dynamics of the melaleuca weevil, Oxyops vitiosa

In this study we estimated the population density that can be maintained by O. vitiosa larvae when fully exploiting the available melaleuca foliage. Larval densities varied dramatically due to fluctuating resource availability and ranged from 830 946 larvae/ha in July-August to >4.5 million larvae/ha in January-February. The expected population density for a generalized (mixed sized) tree distribution was estimated to be 13.9 million larvae/ha. Larval densities increased to 18.8 million larvae/ha/yr when large trees (>20 cm diameter at breast height) represented the dominant size class, whereas habitats dominated by medium (10-19 cm) and small (1.3-9 cm) trees were predicted to have larval densities of 11.3 and 6.3 million/yr, respectively.

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