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:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... April 14, 2016 BioCatch ... Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a ... of the deployment of its platform at several of ... technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical Solutions ... healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, to include ... are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. , The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator ... Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 ... About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: