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Successful colonization, reproduction, and new generation emergence in live interior hybrid spruce Picea engelmannii×glauca by mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae

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1 Although mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins are able to utilize most available Pinus spp. as hosts, successful colonization and reproduction in other hosts within the Pinaceae is rare.

2 We observed successful reproduction of mountain pine beetle and emergence of new generation adults from interior hybrid spruce Picea engelmannii×glauca and compared a number of parameters related to colonization and reproductive success in spruce with nearby lodgepole pine Pinus contorta infested by mountain pine beetle.

3 The results obtained indicate that reduced competition in spruce allowed mountain pine beetle parents that survived the colonization process to produce more offspring per pair than in more heavily-infested nearby pine.

4 We also conducted an experiment in which 20 spruce and 20 lodgepole pines were baited with the aggregation pheromone of mountain pine beetle. Nineteen pines (95%) and eight spruce (40%) were attacked by mountain pine beetle, with eight (40%) and three (15%) mass-attacked, respectively.

5 Successful attacks on nonhost trees during extreme epidemics may be one mechanism by which host shifts and subsequent speciation events have occurred in Dendroctonus spp. bark beetles.
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Keywords: Dendroctonus ponderosae; Picea engelmannii×glauca; coevolution; host shift; sympatric speciation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Canadian Forest Service, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, British Columbia, V2N 4Z9, Canada 2: British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range, 5th Floor, 10114th Avenue, Prince George, British Columbia, V2L 3H9, Canada

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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