Theory in Explanation of the Selection of Certain Trees by the Western Pine Beetle
Abstract:Knowledge of why the western pine beetle attacks certain trees may make it possible to reduce insect losses on selectively-logged areas by leaving only those trees least attractive to the beetle and having therefore a better chance to survive until the next cut. Studies here reported indicate that an initial weak attraction is due to the formation of volatile oils, such as aldehydes or esters, which are by-products of a respiratory fermentation or abnormal enzyme activity in subnormal trees. This attracts beetles from the immediate vicinity, these in turn introduce a yeast into the inner bark which produces a fermentation strong enough to attract other beetles from a wider radius.
Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: U. S. Bureau of Entomology
Publication date: May 1, 1931
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