Xylophagous insect species composition and patterns of substratum use on fire-killed black spruce in central Quebec

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Abstract:

Several xylophagous insect species have adapted to recurrent fires in boreal forests and use high-quality habitats created by these disturbances. To characterize the xylophagous insect assemblages of fire-killed black spruce and their patterns of substratum use, eighty-four 40 cm long bole segments were cut in 2000 and 2001 according to tree diameter, segment height, and fire severity criteria in a 1999 burn in the Grands-Jardins provincial park, Quebec, Canada. The segments were suspended in rearing cages, and neonates were collected until November 2001. The cerambycid Mono chamus scutellatus (Say) and the scolytids Dryocoetes affaber (Mann.) and Polygraphus rufipennis (Kirby) were the most common beetles collected. For all common taxa, more neonates emerged from larger-diameter trees. Few neonates emerged from the upper parts of the trees, and none of the species were specialist of the upper parts of the tree. Fire severity had a drastic effect, and heavily charred trees yielded very few insects. The effect of fire severity on insect colonization density varies widely among tree species. This effect may be linked to varying bark thickness and to bark's insulating potential against water loss during the fire. The host's vigor before its death, measured from growth rings of the last 10 years, had a positive effect on cerambycid emergence, but no effect on scolytids.

Plusieurs insectes xylophages se sont adaptés aux feux récurrents observés en forêt boréale et utilisent efficacement les nouveaux habitats ainsi créés. Cette étude visait à caractériser les assemblages xylophages pyrophiles ainsi que leur patron d'utilisation du bois mort sur l'épinette noire. En 2000 et 2001, nous avons récolté 84 segments de tronc longs de 40 cm dans un brûlis de 1999 du parc des Grands-Jardins (Québec, Canada), selon des critères de diamètre, de stratification verticale et de sévérité de feu. Ces segments ont été placés en cages d'émergence et les adultes ont été récoltés jusqu'en novembre 2001. Monochamus scutellatus (Say) (Cerambycidae), ainsi que Dryocoetes affaber (Mann.) et Polygraphus rufipennis (Kirby) (Scolytidae) ont été les Coléoptères les plus récoltés. Pour tous les taxons communs, un plus grand nombre d'insectes ont émergé des arbres de gros diamètres. Très peu d'insecte ont émergé des plus hautes strates des arbres ou des arbres sévèrement brûlés. L'effet de la sévérité du feu sur la densité de colonisation par les insectes serait lié à l'épaisseur de l'écorce et à son potentiel d'isolation contre une perte excessive d'eau au moment du feu. La vigueur de l'arbre avant sa mort, estimée par dendrochronologie, a eu un effet positif sur l'abondance des Cérambycidés, mais non sur celle des Scolytes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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