• Arthropods - Insects, Mites, Ticks, Spiders
    Arthropods contribute to human food supply both directly as food e.g honey & also as pollinators of crops. Arthropods also spread some of the most severe diseases known to man & do considerable damage to crops and livestock.
  • Micro-organisms - Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses, Mycoplasma-like organisms
    MOs that are considered as plant pathogens are classified as Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses and Mycoplasmas. Fungal pathogens are many and diverse. The symptoms of disease incidence vary from “damping off”, wilt, sudden death of mature plants, stem necrosis etc. Plant pathogenic bacteria – Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, Erwinia are the regularly encountered genera. The host range of individual bacterial pathogens vary greatly & the symptoms include chlorosis, stunting, wilting necrosis, rots, cankers, scabs, galls. Viral infection in plants show great diversity in both type & severity. Abnormal appearances is usually the 1st indication that a plant is virus infected. Light & dark green mosaic or mottling symptoms in affected plants; slight or severe puckering, distortion or tissue proliferation. Virus infected plants are usually smaller & less vigorous than their healthy counterparts.
  • Molluscs
    The malacofauna of the Caribbean investigated in the main consists of terrestrial snails and slugs. The discovery of the Giant African snail – Achatina fulica Bowdich in 2000 in St Lucia & Barbados has raised the awareness of the importance of this group of organisms in the Caribbean.
  • Nematodes
    Plant parasitic nematodes are usually minute, vermiform organisms which alone or in association can be very destructive. Species of Meloidogyne, Heterodera, Pratylenchus affect very many economically host plants. Radophilus similis, the burrowing nematode has host range of more than 250 plant species including banana, citrus, sugar cane, coffee and maize.
  • Weeds
    By definition a weed is a plant that is considered undesirable, troublesome especially one growing where it is not wanted as in a garden. Of special concern in the Caribbean are non-native and invasive weeds which harm the environment and impede agricultural production e.g. Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth), Corn grass (Rottboelliae cochinchinensis).