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Site condition and predation influence a bark beetle's success: a spatially realistic approach

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1 Spatial pattern in abundance of Dendroctonus micans was studied in a 600-ha spruce stand in the Massif Central (Lozère, France). The proportion of trees attacked was measured in 38 plots and these data were used to estimate spatial pattern of attack density in the stand and to identify a transect of decreasing attack density (80% to 30%) over less than 1000 m.

2 Spatial variation in attack density was analysed in relation to (i) data on site and stand characteristics (altitude, slope, tree density, tree average height, yield class and average age) collected from 63 points in the stand and (ii) the releases of the predator Rhizophagus grandis (localization and number of beetles released).

3 The proportion of attacked trees was analysed using geostatistics and showed a strong spatial structure reflecting the spatial scale of interaction of D. micans with its environment. The spatial structure was modelled in order to estimate the spatial distribution of attack density at unsampled locations.

4 A linear model relating interpolated attack density to the number of predators released 6–10 years before the survey in a 300-m radius and to the average slope over a 250-m radius explained 67% of the observed variability. Spatial autocorrelation was taken into account in a spatial regression model.
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Keywords: Biological control; Dendroctonus micans; Rhizophagus grandis; geostatistics; host-tree relationships; insect; spatial ecology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Brussels, Belgium 2: Laboratoire de Biologie animale et cellulaire, CP 160/12, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 50 avenue F. D. Roosevelt, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium and

Publication date: 2003-05-01

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