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Landscape Dynamics of Mountain Pine Beetles

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Abstract:

The magnitude and urgency of current mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the western United States and Canada have resulted in numerous studies of the dynamics and impacts of these insects in forested ecosystems. This paper reviews some of the aspects of the spatial dynamics and landscape ecology of this bark beetle. Landscape heterogeneity influences dispersal patterns in many ways, but little is known about these influences that can be used in management efforts, and the natural range of variability of this insect remains undefined. Short range spread is often determined by the active responses of the beetle to chemical and physical cues. Long-range spread is often facilitated by winds above the canopy, which can move insects hundreds of kilometers. New concepts and tools are emerging that have been adapted from landscape ecology and spatial statistics. Categorical map analysis has been widely used to quantify infested landscapes. Spatial statistical analysis and point process models are acquiring more recent favor. Landscape entomology is an active area of forestry research.

Keywords: bark beetles; forest insects; insect epidemiology; spatial analysis; spatial dynamics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.13-064

Publication date: June 7, 2014

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