The effects of defoliation by Lamprosema lateritialis on six month old seedlings of Pericopsis elata were studied at the Forestry Research Institute's (FORIG) nursery at Mesewam near Kumasi. Thirty-one percent of seedling mortality was directly attributed to the repeated defoliation by the caterpillars over a one year period.
In two separate experiments at Aseanyo River and Bia-Tano Forest Reserves, two-year old saplings of Pericopsis elata were subjected to different levels of mechanical defoliation to stimulate L. lateritialis attack for a period of 10 months. The results in both localities were remarkably similar indicating different responses to height and girth growth at various levels of defoliation. Whereas a relatively small foliage reduction of about 25% significantly (P< 0.05) decrease girth growth among the saplings, a much higher level of foliage reduction (< 50%) was needed to effect any significant change in mean height increment of the plants during the same period. Possible reasons for the disparity in girth and height increment responses to defoliation are discussed. It is concluded that any future efforts to establish plantations of Pericopsis elata must address the problem of defoliation by L. lateritialis.