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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

Print version ISSN 0373-5680

Abstract

BUTELER, Micaela et al. Propiedades insecticidas de la ceniza del complejo volcánico Puyehue-Cordón Caulle y su posible impacto ambiental: Insecticidal properties of ashes from the volcanic complex Puyehue-Caulle Range and their possible environmental impact. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. [online]. 2011, vol.70, n.3-4, pp. 149-156. ISSN 0373-5680.

This paper discusses the insecticidal effect of volcanic ash and its environmental impact, focusing on the ash accumulated as a result of the eruption of the volcanic complex Puyehue- Caulle Range currently affecting an area of over 7.5 million hectares in the Argentine Patagonia. The chemical composition of ashes from the Puyehue-Caulle Range was analyzed by EDS showing that its major components are O, Si, Al, Fe, Na and K. Laboratory bioassays using two species of insects as a biological model, found that the ashes thoroughly adhere to the insect body surface and are toxic to both species tested, when mixed into the substrate at low concentrations. Susceptibility to ashes differs between the two species when tested in a seven day continuous exposure bioassay [CL99(Oryzaephilus surinamensis L.) = 10.25 mg.g-1; CL99((Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)) = 4.96 mg.g-1]. These results agree with those reported in the literature on effects of volcanic eruptions and suggest that the impact of the ashes from the Puyehue-Caulle Range volcanic complex on the insect community may be radical in the acute deposition phase, with substantial qualitative effects in the chronic phase of exposure. Also, the recovery of populations affected by ash in desert areas where dry ash persists will be slower, and this will have tangible and long-term consequences for insect host plants, pollination and on the development of populations of vertebrate insectivores. By contrast, the presence of ash in humid regions will impact the ecosystem by the addition of nutrients, which in combination with water retention by the ash will lead to a qualitative and quantitative recovery of the populations under favorable conditions.

Keywords : Volcanic ash; Puyehue-Caulle Range; Insecticidal dust; Mechanism of action; Environmental impact.

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