SPECIES LIMITS, QUARANTINE RISK AND THE INTRIGUE OF A POLYPHAGOUS INVASIVE PEST: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
Dr. Michelle Rafter
School of Biological Sciences
University of Queensland
The ecology of herbivores that use multiple resources remains difficult to clarify and characterize exactly, as ecological descriptions tend to incorporate virtually all observations, so whatever such organisms are said to be doing is added to their ecological ‘amplitude’. Perhaps a more fundamental approach is required, at least initially, and this was tested when an insect considered to be a widely polyphagous pest adventitiously established in Australia and was then paradoxically host restricted in its adventive range. The talk will address the diversity of strands of research that was required to solve this problem.