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Chinese privet is widely believed to drastically reduce native plant biodiversity because of its ability to shade out native vegetations (USDI Fish and Wildlife Service 1992; Merriam & Feil 2002) and form dense, monospecific stands that dominate the forest understory (Dirr 1990).
The flower of Chinese privet is toxic to humans causing symptoms such as nausea, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and low blood pressure and body temperature (USDANRCS 2002).
Although modern herbicides, including glyphosate, effectively kill privet (Tennessee Exotic Pest Plants Council 1996; The Nature Conservancy 2004; Madden & Swarbrick 1990; Harrington & Miller 2005), environmental concerns will limit use of herbicides on public land or in sensitive areas.
This suggests that exploration for Chinese privet natural enemies in China might detect species suitable for use in a classical biological control program in the U.
25, elevation approximately 1096 m), Guizhou Province, which is another area where Chinese privet is prevalent in China, but it is much further south and warmer than the Anhui sites.
In order to collect the most natural enemies of privet, our survey sites were selected to include habitats varying from natural areas to semi-natural and planted sites.
Chinese privet in these 3 sites grew naturally mixed with many other plant species and most grew relatively tall (over 3 m).
Chinese privet plants in these sites grew semi-naturally but were near agricultural lands where they were more likely to be disturbed by local residents.
At each site, 10 Chinese privet plants were randomly selected for sampling, marked with stakes and surrounded by a circle of colored tape and a sign to prevent human disturbance and for ease of relocation.
All phytophagous insects were evaluated based on their frequency of occurrence on Chinese privet, stage of development, and collecting site.
Altogether, 900 plants of Chinese privet were investigated for signs of insect feeding within stems, oviposition, and damage at all survey sites.
The phytophagous insects associated with Chinese privet in China are listed in Table 1.