Martin P. Hill

Martin P. Hill
Centre for Biological Control Rhodes University

PhD Rhodes University

About

260
Publications
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4,301
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Publications

Publications (260)
Article
The socio-economic and ecological impacts of invasive alien aquatic plant (IAAP) species have been well studied globally. However less is known about ecosystem recovery following the management of IAAP species. This study employed a before-after study design to investigate ecological recovery following the management of Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitche...
Article
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is climatically diverse, with many biomes. Many species of invasive alien plants (IAPs) are present, with severe negative impacts which largely remain unquantified. Importation biological weed control (IBWC) has been practised on the continent since the early 20th century, with some notable successes. Weed biocontrol agents...
Article
Full-text available
Thaumatotibia leucotreta is endemic to southern Africa and is highly significant for various fruit industries, including the South African citrus industry, due to its classification as a phytosanitary pest. Mutualistic associations between C. pomonella, closely related to T. leucotreta, and yeasts have previously been described and reported to redu...
Article
It has been documented that the continual release of high numbers of biological control (biocontrol) agents for weeds increases the likelihood of agent establishment and has been shown to reduce the time between the first release and subsequent control of the target weed. Here we review the mass-rearing activities for weed biocontrol agents in Sout...
Article
In the last decade, biological control in South Africa has evolved from a classical applied science, allied to an extension service, to a more community engagement-based activity. Therefore, capacity building is important for the sustainability of biological control research and its implementation. In South Africa, a broad approach has been taken t...
Article
Biological control (biocontrol) against invasive macrophytes is one of the longest standing programmes in South Africa, initiated in the 1970s against water hyacinth, Pontederia crassipes Mart. (Pontederiaceae). Since then, 15 agent species (13 insects, one mite and one pathogen) have been released against six weeds, most of which are floating macr...
Article
Regulation of biological control (biocontrol) is essential to ensure its continued safety and to enhance its acceptability as a key contributor to the management of damaging invasive alien plants in South Africa. Local researchers were concerned that regulators may become risk averse and over-cautious, thus preventing introductions of safe biocontr...
Article
Full-text available
There is continuous deterioration of freshwater systems globally due to excessive anthropogenic inputs, which severely affect important socio-economic and ecological services. We investigated the water and sediment quality at 10 sites along the severely modified Swartkops River system in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and then quantified...
Article
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The polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle is a recent invader in South Africa. Together with its fungal symbiont, Fusarium euwallaceae, it can rapidly kill highly susceptible host plants. Its impact is most profound in urban areas, but it has also been found infesting important forestry, agricultural crop and native species. Since its first det...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) beetle is a recent invader in South Africa. Together with its fungal symbiont, Fusarium euwallaceae, it can rapidly kill highly susceptible host plants. Its impact is most profound in urban areas, but it has also been found infesting important forestry, agricultural crop and native species. Since its first det...
Technical Report
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Biological invasions are a major threat to South Africa’s biodiversity, economy, and sustainable development. This report is a part of South Africa’s commitment to alleviating these impacts. It is a comprehensive national-scale assessment with contributions from 36 experts from 16 institutions. Drafts of the report were available for comment in two...
Article
Biological control is widely utilised for the management of invasive alien plants (IAP). With the ever-increasing number of IAPs, it is important to prioritise targets for biocontrol in order to maximise the use of resources and the chances of success. This paper reviewed 12 previous systems developed to prioritise plant targets for biocontrol. The...
Article
Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in South Africa and are often associated with negative socio-economic and human health consequences. Biocontrol is seen as an effective strategy for managing IAPs however it can realistically only be considered for a subset of such plants given the limited fundi...
Article
Biological control is an effective and sustainable method for management of invasive alien plants (IAPs), and has been implemented on 68 of the 367 plant species that are listed as legally requiring management strategies under South Africa’s National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10/2004): Alien and Invasive Species Regulations. With...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien plants (IAPs) pose a threat to biodiversity and the economy of the countries they invade. In South Africa, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Natural Resources Management Programmes, previously The Working for Water Programme (WfW) is tasked with controlling IAPs in a way that protects the environment, as well as...
Article
Native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia, Iris pseudacorus L. (Iridaceae) has invaded natural and human-modified wetlands worldwide. This species is considered a noxious weed in several countries including Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand. Its broad ecological tolerance, high resilience and reproductive potential make current mechanic...
Chapter
This book contains 23 chapters divided into seven parts. Part I reviews the key hypotheses in invasion ecology that invoke biotic interactions to explain aspects of plant invasion dynamics; and reviews models, theories and hypotheses on how invasion performance and impact of introduced species in recipient ecosystems can be conjectured according to...
Article
There has been a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, from pre-industrial values of 280 ppm to more than 400 ppm currently, and this is expected to double by the end of the 21st century. Studies have shown that plants grown at elevated CO2 concentrations have increased growth rates and invest more in carbon-based defences. This has impo...
Article
A three-year survey of the ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) was undertaken on soils from citrus orchards of different ages to determine the influence of orchard age on the ecology of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The influence of mulch and irrigation method on the occurrence of EPN and EPF was als...
Article
Full-text available
Cold winter temperatures significantly affect the biological control effort against water hyacinth, Pontederia ( = Eichhornia) crassipes Mart. (Pontederiaceae), in more temperate regions around the world. The population dynamics of the planthopper Megamelus scutellaris Berg. (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), a newly released biological control agent of wat...
Article
BACKGROUND Species introduced into new habitats are fitter than their native populations as hypothesised by the ‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA). Here Pereskia aculeata Miller was used as a model to test EICA and explore how ‘enemy release’ may have influenced invasion success of its 400‐year‐old introduced populations (genotypes...
Article
Several isolates of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitacae) and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitacae) have been investigated as possible microbial control agents of key citrus pests in South Africa. Although laboratory results have been promising, field trials against foliar...
Article
Full-text available
Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae) is a damaging free-floating invasive alien macrophyte native to South America. The biological control programme against S. molesta by the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands (Erirhinidae) has been successful in controlling S. molesta infestations in the introduced range, however, there is some...
Article
Biological control is an effective ways of controlling aquatic plants, especially in South Africa. Release of biological control agents has been limited to Mozambique, where water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach (Pontederiaceae)), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes L. (Araceae)), red water ferns (Azolla spp. (Azollaceae)) and sal...
Article
Full-text available
Nymphaea mexicana Zuccarini (Nymphaeaceae) (Mexican waterlily) is an emergent floating-leaved aquatic plant from the southeastern USA that is invasive in South Africa. In invaded waterbodies this plant restricts water movement, increases siltation, decreases recreational activities, and can deplete water oxygen levels, which in turn negatively impa...
Chapter
Full-text available
Invasive alien plant species negatively affect agricultural production, degrade conservation areas, reduce water supplies, and increase the intensity of wild fires. Since 1913, biological control agents i.e. plant-feeding insects, mites, and fungal pathogens, have been deployed in South Africa to supplement other management practices (herbicides an...
Chapter
Full-text available
South Africa has a long history of managing the establishment and spread of invasive floating macrophytes. The past thirty years of research and the implementation of nation-wide biological and integrated control programmes has led to widespread control of these species in many degraded freshwater ecosystems. Such initiatives are aimed at restoring...
Chapter
This book contains 23 chapters divided into seven parts. Part I reviews the key hypotheses in invasion ecology that invoke biotic interactions to explain aspects of plant invasion dynamics; and reviews models, theories and hypotheses on how invasion performance and impact of introduced species in recipient ecosystems can be conjectured according to...
Article
Seven indigenous entomopathogenic fungal isolates were identified as promising biocontrol agents of key citrus pests including false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), citrus thrips, Scirtothrips aurantii Faure (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae...
Article
The discovery that cryptic species are more abundant than previously thought has implications for weed biological control, as there is a risk that cryptic species may be inadvertently released with consequences for the safety of the practice. A cryptic species of a biological control agent released for the control of the invasive alien macrophyte,...
Article
Full-text available
The complete genome of an endemic South African Cydia pomonella granulovirus isolate was sequenced and analyzed. Several missing or truncated open reading frames (ORFs) were identified, including a 24 bp deletion in the pe38 gene which is reported to be associated with type I resistance-breaking potential. Comparison of single nucleotide polymorphi...
Article
Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) is a cornerstone of codling moth ( Cydia pomonella ) control in integrated and organic pome fruit production, though different types of resistance to CpGV products have been recorded in codling moth field populations in Europe for several years. Recently, a novel baculovirus named Cryptophlebia peltastica nucleop...
Article
Fruit-piercing moths are a sporadic pest of citrus, especially in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, where the adults can cause significant damage in outbreak years. However, growers confuse fruit-piercing moths with fruit-sucking moths that do not cause primary damage. In this study we trapped these moths during the 2013-2015 growing seaso...
Chapter
Freshwater ecosystems are particularly susceptible to invasions by invasive non-native species (INNS) across a range of taxa, largely as a consequence of anthropogenic influences on these systems, with a number of ecological and socio-economic impacts. This chapter reviews freshwater invasive non-native species across the globe, focusing on fishes,...
Article
The litchi moth, Cryptophlebia peltastica (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and certain Indian Ocean islands. It is an important pest of litchis and to a lesser extent macadamias. Litchis are exported to certain markets that consider C. peltastica as a phytosanitary pest. Consequently, an effective postharvest p...
Article
Full-text available
Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae), a floating aquatic weed, is a menace in many water bodies, disrupting the ecological balance wherever it invades, with wide ranging economic and health impacts. Biological control using the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder & Sands has been an effective control method globally, although some infestat...
Article
• A key focus area of the South African citrus industry is the improved control of the phytosanitary citrus pest Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). • New methods of control for this pest are continually being sought and the use of entomopathogens as biological control agents of the soil-dwelling life stages of T. leucotreta has sh...
Article
The Enemy Release Hypothesis (ERH) predicts that introduced plant species can escape herbivory and therefore have a competitive advantage over native plants, which are exposed to both generalist and specialist natural enemies. In this study, the ERH was explored using the invasive alien species, Arundo donax and two native tall-statured grasses, th...
Article
Cryptophlebia peltastica is an agricultural pest of litchis and macadamias in South Africa with phytosanitary status for certain markets. Current control methods rely on chemical, cultural and classical biological control. However, a microbial control option has not been developed. An Alphabaculovirus from C. peltastica was recovered from a laborat...
Article
The aquatic weed Salvinia molesta D.S. Mitch. (Salviniaceae) was first recorded in South Africa in the early 1900s, and by the 1960s was regarded as one of South Africa's worst aquatic weeds. Following the release of the weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in 1985, the weed is now considered under successful b...
Article
Full-text available
The tall statured grasses in the genus Phragmites are dominant vegetation in wetlands worldwide and thus play a vital role in ecosystem functioning. As a result, Phragmites spp. are some of the most widely studied plants; particularly in areas where changes to their abundances have occurred, most notably in Europe and North America. In southern Afr...
Article
Full-text available
The tall-statured grasses in the genus Phragmites are dominant vegetation in wetlands worldwide and thus play a vital role in ecosystem functioning. As a result, Phragmites spp. are some of the most widely studied plants; particularly in areas where changes to their abundances have occurred, most notably in Europe and North America. In southern Afr...
Article
Full-text available
Water hyacinth is invasive in many countries, where it reduces aquatic biodiversity and limits water resource utilisation. Biological control of water hyacinth has been successful in South Africa, but has suffered from a lack of empirical data to prove causation. Insect exclusion trials were conducted to quantify the contribution of Neochetina eich...
Article
Full-text available
False codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is an important indigenous pest of citrus in southern Africa. Successful control is dependent upon integration of area-wide sterile insect releases and other suppression methods. The aim of this work was to test pyrethroid and organophosphate-based insecticides (tau-fl...
Article
Full-text available
Host plant phenology (as influenced by seasonality) and light-mediated changes in the phenotypic and phytochemical properties of leaves have been hypothesised to equivocally influence insect herbivore performance. Here, we examined the effects of seasonality, through host plant phenology (late growth-season = autumn vs flowering-season = winter) an...
Article
Full-text available
Eichhornia crassipes is notorious as the world’s worst aquatic weed, and here we present all aspects of its biology, ecology and invasion behaviour within the framework of the new series of Botany Letters on Monographs on invasive plants in Europe. Native to the Amazon in South America, the plant has been spread around the world since the late 1800...
Article
Biological control offers a cost effective and ecologically sustainable tool for the management of invasive alien plants. Its implementation, however, has historically been slow and poorly co-ordinated. In South Africa, as in many other countries, most aspects of biological control programmes were done by researchers, but from 1995 onwards, with th...
Article
Full-text available
Educative outreach programmes have been found to be effective ways in which to raise awareness around basic scientific concepts. The Biological Control Research Group (BCRG) in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at Rhodes University, South Africa, is involved in community engaged initiatives that aim to be interactive and informative around e...
Article
Ectomyeolis ceratoniae Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), carob moth, is a pest of several crops in South Africa. A laboratory culture was established from field-collected larvae infesting mummified pecan nuts. Biological parameters of larvae reared on an artificial diet were measured. The insect goes through five larval instars, and the head capsule...
Article
Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) is one of the most problematic plant invaders in South Africa and has been targeted for biological control for over 50 years. Essential oil constituents which often change in response to insect herbivory are reported to play a crucial role in plant-insect interactions. However, nothing is known about the chemical pro...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling the responses of insects to variations in their thermal environment is central to our understanding of the evolution of temperature-dependent performance in these species. Here, we report results of experiments examining the effects of high (upper lethal temperature = ULT) and low (lower lethal temperature = LLT) temperature and expos...
Conference Paper
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Traditional methods for determining the thermal tolerance of insects include critical thermal testing, where a set of insects is exposed to a range of temperatures. The temperature at which they lose the ability to self-right, a behavioural response, is recorded. These ranges are used to predict a distributional range in which the species can survi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Biological control of invasive alien plants (IAPs) using introduced natural enemies contributes significantly to sustained, cost-effective management of natural resources in South Africa. The status of, and prospects for, biological control is therefore integral to National Status Reports (NSRs) on Biological Invasions, the first of whi...
Article
The giant reed, Arundo donax is one of the worst invasive alien species globally, including South Africa, where it invades riparian areas across the country. Biological control is being considered to address the invasive potential and negative impacts of the weed. This study investigated the phylogeography of A. donax to guide the biological contro...
Article
Global freshwater resources are threatened by an ever-growing population and continued economic development, highlighting the need for sustainable water management. Sustainable management must include the control of any additional factors that may aggravate water scarcity, such as invasive alien plants. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), one of...
Article
A new species, Phanerotoma carobivora van Achterberg & Thackeray, sp. nov. is described from South Africa. It is a common endoparasitoid of the carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae Zeller (Pyralidae) on pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) and citrus fruits in South Africa. Mean percentage of parasitism varied 2-30% between host plants and...
Article
Full-text available
The invasive freshwater snail Tarebia granifera (Lamarck, 1822) was first reported in South Africa in 1999 and it has become widespread across the country, with some evidence to suggest that it reduces benthic macroinvertebrate biodiversity. The current study aimed to identify the primary abiotic drivers behind abundance patterns of T. granifera, b...
Article
Full-text available
The complete genomes of two novel South African betabaculovirus isolates, namely Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus (PhopGV-SA) and Plutella xylostella granulovirus (PlxyGV-SA), were sequenced and compared to the respective reference isolates PhopGV-1346 and PlxyGV-K1. For both isolates, the genome size and guanine-cytosine (GC) content were simi...
Article
Full-text available
The possibilities of a positive or negative impact the biocontrol agents may have on each other as well as on the control of the weed itself, inspired us to study the interactions between the mirid, Eccritotarsus catarinensis and the phytopathogen, Acremonium zonatum, biocontrol agents of water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes. Observations were made...
Article
Planococcus citri (citrus mealybug) is a common and damaging citrus crop pest which has proven difficult to control using conventional methods, such as chemical pesticides and insect growth regulators, particularly late in the citrus growing season. The virulence of two entomopathogenic fungal species was studied in laboratory bioassays against the...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the release of about 1.9 million individuals of Pareuchaetes insulata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) in KwaZulu-Natal for the biological control of Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson (Asteraceae) in South Africa, the moth probably only established at one of the 30 release sites and its population level is generally low in the fiel...
Article
Entomopathogenic fungal isolates Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) strain G Ar 17 B3 and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) strain FCM Ar 23 B3 have been identified as effective control agents of the important citrus pest Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: To...
Article
Full-text available
Biological control of Azolla filiculoides in South Africa with the Azolla specialist Stenopelmus rufinasus has been highly successful. However, field surveys showed that the agent utilized another Azolla species, thought to be the native Azolla pinnata subsp. africana, which contradicted host specificity trials. It is notoriously difficult to deter...
Article
Full-text available
There are many examples of cryptic species that have been identified through DNA-barcoding or other genetic techniques. There are, however, very few confirmations of cryptic species being reproductively isolated. This study presents one of the few cases of cryptic species that has been confirmed to be reproductively isolated and therefore true spec...