Termite resistance of Malaysian and exotic woods with plantation potential: Laboratory evaluation
J K Grace, A A H Wong, C H M Tome
The resistance of selected Malaysian woods to attack by the representative aggressive subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) was evaluated in four-week, no-choice laboratory tests. This is part of an ongoing effort between the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the University of Hawaii to document the termite resistance of Malaysian timber species of potential value in plantation forestry. Several of these tree genera also occur in Hawaii, or could potentially be of value as well in forestry efforts in the Hawaiian islands. Species included in the present report are: acacia (Acacia mangium), batai (Albizia falcataria), casuarina pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), Araucarian pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), sentang (Azadirachta excelsa), both Malaysian-grown and Burmese-grown teak (Tectona grandis), kempas (Koompassia malaccensis), tualang (Koompassia excelsa), Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis). Of these, Burmese teak, kempas, tualang, and casuarina pine proved most resistant to termite attack. Malaysian teak and sentang demonstrated somewhat less, but still significant termite resistance. Sentang is a relatively pest-free tree of interest for plantation forestry, and was also quite toxic to termites. The remaining tree species were very susceptible to termite attack, and would require protection in the field and treatment of the resulting wood products. Correlation of these laboratory results with data from field studies in Malaysia will provide a comprehensive profile of the termite resistance of these timbers.