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Southern Pine Beetle: Factors Associated with Spot Occurrence and Spread in Young Plantations

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An inventory of 167,316 ac of 5- to 15-year-old plantations of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) or loblolly pine (P. taeda L.) or both in east Texas revealed that infestations (spots) of the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm., occurred in plantations of all ages greater than 5 years. Infestation frequency ranged from 0.1 spots/1000 ac for 6-year-old plantations to 6 to 8 spots/1000 ac for 12- to 15-year-old plantations in 1985. Analyses of subsets of plantation inventories revealed that spots were more frequent in loblolly pine plantations than in slash pine plantations, and more frequent in plantations that had been prescribed-burned. An intensive study of 34 individual spots showed that spot initiation was often associated with stand disturbance but not with intraplantation variations in stand parameters. In turn, regression analyses revealed that the initial number of active trees (spot size) was directly correlated with pine basal area/ac. Rate of summer spot growth in uncontrolled infestations was most strongly correlated with number of active (brood) trees and weakly correlated with tree height and pine basal area/ac. Spots tended to grow faster in loblolly plantations than in those with slash pine. Mean spot growth rates were markedly less within young plantations than rates documented in earlier studies for natural pulpwood and sawtimber stands. A field guide for setting control priorities for beetle infestations in young plantations is provided. South. J. Appl. For. 12(3):208-214.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Pest Control Section, Texas Forest Service, Lufkin, TX 75901

Publication date: 1988-08-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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