Navigation Links
Dartmouth research offers new control strategies for bipolar bark beetles

Population explosions of pine beetles, which have been decimating North American forests in recent decades, may be prevented by boosting competitor and predator beetle populations, a Dartmouth study suggests.

Bark beetles are the most destructive forest pests worldwide. Management and climate change have resulted in younger, denser forests that are even more susceptible to attack. Though intensively studied for decades, until now an understanding of bark beetle population dynamicsextreme ups and downshas remained elusive.

The Dartmouth-led study, published in the January issue of the journal Population Ecology, confirmed, for the first time, that the abundance of a certain animal speciesin this case the southern pine beetlefluctuates innately between extremes, with no middle ground.

"That is different from most species, such as deer, warblers and swallowtail butterflies, whose populations tend to be regular around some average abundance based on food, weather, and other external factors," says Matt Ayres, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth and senior author on the paper. "They don't appear and disappear in cycles. Rather, they exist in two stable equilibrium statesone of high abundance and the other of scarcity." Once the population pendulum swings toward the high end, it won't quickly or easily swing back.

The new research by Dartmouth scientists and their forester colleagues could provide the means to limit this seemingly bipolar dynamic, keeping the bark beetles at the lower stable population level.

The studies identify the presence of bark beetle competitors and predators (specifically two other beetles) as the predominant limiting factor that can keep the bark beetles at a low, stable equilibrium. The authors suggest that the presence of these competitors and predators could be encouraged as a control strategy.

"The pine beetles produce pheromones, chemical signals, that attract enough competitors and predators to prevent outbreaks," says Sharon Martinson, a member of the research team and first author on the new paper. "Leaving more dead trees in forests can provide habitat for competitor beetles that rarely kill tree, and for predators that eat both beetle species."

The authors suggest that other pest species with catastrophic impacts may also have natural dynamics that include a tipping point between the bipolar population states. By learning what factors control those tipping points, impacts on ecosystems can be averted through monitoring and occasional intervention strategies.


Contact: John Cramer
Dartmouth College

Related biology news :

1. Dartmouth scientists track radioactive iodine from Japan nuclear reactor meltdown
2. Dartmouth researchers are learning how exercise affects the brain
3. Dartmouth research imparts momentum to mobile health
4. Science stars head to Dartmouth for the E.E. Just Symposium
5. Dartmouth research: The clocks are ticking and the climate is changing
6. Mercury releases contaminate ocean fish: Dartmouth-led effort publishes major findings
7. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
8. Research reveals first evidence of hunting by prehistoric Ohioans
9. Diabetes Research Institute develops oxygen-generating biomaterial
10. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
11. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Dartmouth research offers new control strategies for bipolar bark beetles
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... RESTON, Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 ... announced today that it has released a new version ... Daon customers in North America ... gains. IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF ... customers are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Global Stem Cells Group announced the ... in the cities of Arica and Iquique in northern Chile. The facilities are part of ... the most advanced protocols and techniques in stem cell medicine to patients from around the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Mass. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ ... received written notification from The NASDAQ Stock Market ... bid price requirements. The letter noted that as ... HART,s common stock having exceeded $1.00 per share ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), ... has acquired Cypher Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics ... interpretation software solutions. The San Diego ... including Cypher CEO and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , ... Business.  Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Germany , November 30, 2015 ... Vienna, Austria to be held December 1-4, ... in Vienna, Austria to be ... owned subsidiary of Vycor Medical, Inc. ("Vycor") (OTCQB: VYCO), announced ... Therapy Suite at the 3rd European Congress of NeuroRehabilitation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: