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Areography of the genus Dendroctonus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Mexico

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Abstract Objective 

To analyse whether the geographical ranges of Dendroctonus species are (1) associated with factors such as host species or elevation, and (2) in agreement with Halffter's Nearctic distribution pattern. (3) To identify and discuss the factors that are likely to act as barriers to the genus’ geographical distribution. (4) To explore whether there is an association between the size of the geographical ranges of Dendroctonus species and the number of Pinus host species used by each of them, and (5) to assess if these host species are most common at the elevations preferred by the individual Dendroctonus species. Site 

Mexico. Methods 

Records of 12 species of Dendroctonus were gathered from entomological collections in Mexico. Distribution ranges were defined by using the propinquity method ( Rapoport, 1975a). Analysed parameters were: (1) geographical distribution of single species, (2) overlapping of species ranges, (3) disjunction patterns and barriers by means of isoprobabilistic lines, based on the morphotectonic subdivision of Mexico ( Ferrusquía-Villafranca, 1998), (4) spatial variation in species richness with respect to latitude and altitude, (5) size of geographical ranges, and (6) host species for each Dendroctonus species. A correlation was determined between area size and number of pine host species. Results 

The species ranges varied in shape and size. Geographical ranges tend to be discontinuous in shape. Composite patterns showed that disjunctions among ranges do not closely follow Mexico's morphotectonic subdivision. There are repeated discontinuities among individual distributions, which define five areas: (1) Baja California Peninsula, (2) Sierra Madre Occidental (SMOC), (3) northern Sierra Madre Oriental (SMOR), (4) Sierra Madre de Chiapas, and (5) SMOR + Faja Volcanica Transmexicana (FVT) + Sierra Madre del Sur. The isoprobabilistic lines confirm that the inner part of SMOC provides an optimal environment for the genus, and the FVT province constitutes the broader corridor for it in the country. Richness does not directly decrease or increase with latitude. Richness behaviour of the insect is not associated with that of its host. Elevation distributions showed that most Dendroctonus species move within broad margins of tolerance and species richness is concentrated in the montane interval. Dendroctonus attack 24 of the 47 Pinus species distributed in Mexico. Preferred pine species belong predominantly to Leiophyllae, Ponderosae and Oocarpae subsections. The Spearman rank correlation between area size and number of pine host species was not significant. Dendroctonus clearly belongs to a Nearctic distribution pattern (sensu Halffter, 1987). Main conclusions 

Dendroctonus is present in all montane systems of Mexico and its species coexist within a high geographical sympatry. Overlapping of species distribution appears to be the result of two elements – generalized polyphagy inside Pinus and a wide elevation tolerance within mountainous environments. This behaviour, linked to a high vagility, has allowed the genus Dendroctonus to expand its distribution across Mexico and to employ mountainous systems as corridors separated by barriers that exert a low selective filter effect.
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Keywords: Dendroctonus; Mexico; Pinus; bark beetle; biogeography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio de Variación Biológica y Evolución, Departamento de Zoología. Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas-IPN. Prol. de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n, Del. Miguel Hidalgo 2: Laboratorio de Fanerógamas, Departamento de Botánica. Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas-IPN. Prol. de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n, Del. Miguel Hidalgo 3: El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. Carretera Antiguo Aeropuerto km 2.5 Tapachula, Chiapas, México

Publication date: 01 July 2004

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