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Effects of sunlight exposure and log size on pine engraver (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) reproduction in ponderosa pine slash in Northern Arizona, U.S.A.

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1 Abiotic conditions within logs can affect pine engraver Ips pini (Say) reproductive success, and slash management techniques have been developed that exploit these relationships to reduce brood production. In the present study, we investigated the affect of sunlight exposure on phloem temperature and moisture in logs of two diameters and the subsequent effects on pine engraver reproduction.

2 Logs, 30 cm in length, with diameters of 10 and 15 cm, were cut, left in the field for natural colonization by I pini, and then placed in an open meadow and under shade cloth, providing 27% and 66% shade, until offspring beetles had left the logs. Phloem temperature and moisture were recorded over the duration of the experiment and, at the end of the field experiment, logs were dissected and galleries were measured to gauge beetle reproductive success.

3 As sunlight exposure increased, phloem temperatures increased and potentially lethal temperatures were often reached in the high-sunlight exposure but seldom in the low-sunlight. Smaller diameter logs had drier phloem than larger diameter logs. All logs dried with time but sunlight level did not affect desiccation rates. Ips pini preferred attacking larger logs and the bottom side of logs. Sunlight exposure had a significant effect on net reproductive success in smaller diameter logs, with very little net reproductive success in high-sunlight exposed logs, and the highest reproductive success was found in small diameter logs in the low-sunlight treatments.

4 Management implications of these results are discussed.
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Keywords: Ips pini (Coleoptera: Curculionidae); Pinus ponderosa; abiotic conditions; slash management; temperature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, NAU Box 15018, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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