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Interactions among Bark Beetles, Pathogens, and Conifers in North American Forests
L.K. Rieske-Kinney, F.A. Baker, S. Cook, B. Bentz, T.C. Harrington, P. Bonello
Department of Entomology
Bark beetles and pathogens interact to cause extensive losses in the forests of North America. Research results from this project will provide both fundamental understanding and management tools for pathogenic fungi and bark beetles.
2009 Project Description
Mixed oak-pine forests that were affected by the southern pine beetle outbreak of 1999-2002 and evaluated immediately afterward were re-evaluated using the US Forest Service Common Stand Exam vegetation assessment methods. Forests were then modeled 50 years into the future to project changes in vegetation composition and structure in the aftermath of the outbreak.
Additionally, five conifer forests dominated by hemlock were re-censused using the same protocols to evaluate changes due to invasion and establishment by the exotic hemlock woolly adelgid. Changes in vegetation composition and structure were modeled in adelgid-infested and non-infested hemlock forests.
In addition, we assessed insect occurrence in relation to spatial and temporal factors associated with forest structure. Lepidopteran family-level abundance and richness data were assessed across field seasons with three trap types (light, malaise, funnel).
Details of project descriptions were disseminated to the scientific community via several presentations, including an invited symposium presentation at the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America in St. Louis, MO, an invited seminar for the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky, the Southern Forest Insect Work Conference in Gulfport, MS, and the annual Entomological Society of America meeting in Indianapolis.
Vegetation simulations using the Forest Vegetation Simulator predict conversion to hardwood species in the aftermath of southern pine beetle disturbance, barring any management activities. The Forest Vegetation Simulator also projects a 98% decline in hemlock resources within 10 yr of infestation.
McEwan, R.W., L.K. Rieske and M.A. Arthur. 2009. Potential interactions between Potential interactions between invasive woody shrubs and the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), an invasive insect herbivore. Biological Invasions 11, 1053-1058.
Reeves, J.D., B.L. Strom, L.K. Rieske, B.D. Ayres, and A.M. Costa. 2009. Geographic variation in prey preference in bark beetle predators. Ecological Entomology 34, 183-192.