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Theory in Explanation of the Selection of Certain Trees by the Western Pine Beetle

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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.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: U. S. Bureau of Entomology

Publication date: 1931-05-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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