Patterns of Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm.) Infestation Enlargement

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This paper describes relationships between the population dynamics of the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) and forest spatial structure. We examined the growth of eight beetle infestations in east Texas during 1977 and 1978 using techniques for locating centers of attacking and dispersing beetle numbers within the spatial structure of the infestations. D. frontalis activity was low during the 2 years of study, perhaps as a result of below-normal precipitation. Three infestations, distinguished by large initial population size and/or high pine basal area relative to the other five infestations, showed similar rates of infestation enlargement: ca. 0.9 m are distance traversed/day and 0.4 trees attacked/day. The direction of infestation enlargement was largely dependent upon the direction to the nearest group of unattacked trees, relative to attacked trees. Potential interactions between pheromone dispersion and microclimatic conditions in forests are discussed. FOREST SCI. 27:837-849.

Keywords: Forest spatial structure; Pinus echinata; Pinus taeda; Population dynamics; Silviculture

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Publication date: December 1, 1981

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