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Size and shape changes of Ips typographus L. (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) in relation to population level

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1 High intraspecific competition is known to occur during Ips typographus outbreaks, and is thought to be the main factor regulating epidemic populations by affecting beetle population productivity. However, little is known about the consequences of intraspecific competition on population quality during outbreaks, although it could have consequences on beetle population dynamics.

2 Ips typographus morphological variations among localities, years and beetle population levels were investigated in 10 Norway spruce (Picea abies) stands having various beetle damage intensities. Beetle size and shape estimators based on wing length, and using isometric size and log-shape ratios, were employed. Field-caught beetles were compared with beetles emerging from controlled breeding at different densities, performed in the laboratory. Beetles from this colony were also used to check the influence of breeding densities on the size estimator.

3 Size variations occurred among localities and years and were consistent with the epidemic or latent status of the beetle populations. Controlled breeding confirmed the negative effect of beetle densities encountered in the field on offspring size. Two hypotheses are formulated to explain this increase of intraspecific competition during an outbreak, but our data support the effect of host quality change between latent and epidemic populations.

4 Shape variations also occurred among localities but were unrelated to beetle population levels. No groups consistent with a geographical structure were found, suggesting low genetic variation for I. typographus populations in France.
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Keywords: Ips typographus; morphometry; outbreak; shape; size

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Entomologie, CNRS FRE 2695, Département Systématique et Evolution, 45 rue Buffon, F-75005 Paris, France and 2: Université d'Orléans, Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures, BP 6759, F-45067 Orléans cedex 2, France.

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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