Empirical data reporting forest pest damage on Khaya senegalensis have raised concerns over their potential economic impacts. Although the problem was also reported in Benin, scientific data on their economic impact on plantations are lacking. In this study, we combined dendrometry and survey data to estimate the economic impact of wood damage caused by pests in K. senegalensis plantations in Benin. We found that four major pest guilds cause damage to the plantations with severe wood production loss. Wood borers are the most economically damaging guild, mainly in mature plantations, while shoot borers and defoliators predispose trunks to bifurcation and deformation in young plantations. We estimated damage to 8.3 ± 5.4 m3 ha-1 of wood production, corresponding to an economic loss of 825.5 ± 635.4 USD ha-1. Our findings suggest that pest management in K. senegalensis plantation should focus on the developmental stages and ecological interactions between host and pest to reduce the economic impacts of wood damage.
Keywords: African mahogany, Major pest, Destruction of wood, Economic impact