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Basis for Technology Transfer of Inhibitor-Based Suppression Tactics for the Southern Pine Beetle

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Operational procedures for a new inhibitor-based suppression tactic for southern pine beetle (SPB) (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm.) are nearly ready. A critical component for the acceptance and successful use of this tactic by foresters is a carefully designed technology transfer program. To achieve this goal we developed a questionnaire and sent it to foresters in the southern United States. The questionnaire was designed to develop a profile of foresters based on their experience with SPB, their goals for managing the pest, their knowledge of the insect's biology and control options, their interest in learning a new tactic, and the methods by which they prefer to be trained in the use of the tactic. Of the 3,426 questionnaires sent to foresters in 10 states, 1,028 were returned, 995 (29%) of which were used. Experience with SPB differed among states and appeared related to the frequency of SPB outbreaks. However, experience did not affect the level of knowledge foresters had of SPB biology and control. Among responding foresters, 73% correctly related crown color to brood development in trees, 91% knew that SPB uses semiochemicals as cues for aggregating on hosts, 97% and 79% knew that stands with high basal area and older trees, respectively, are more susceptible to SPB than stands with lower basal area and younger trees. Ninety percent picked a buffer strip width that is roughly equivalent to the width presently recommended for use in direct suppression tactics. Less success was reported for differentiating between Ips and SPB infestations. Methods used for evaluating infestations favored revisiting sites and counting the number of green infested trees. Few foresters examined brood galleries, a method we believe is best. Although foresters tend to prefer 100% suppression after one treatment as a minimum acceptable level, most were willing to accept a lower level suppression effectiveness. Most respondents (92%) said they would like to learn about the inhibitor-based suppression tactic and would recommend its use if the tactic was shown to work and be cost effective. The preferred choice for learning the new tactic would be to combine an in-class workshop with field activities. Use of videos as a teaching and review tool also would be well received. South. J. Appl. For. 22(1):24-34.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Forestry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0324

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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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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