Abundance of the fir engraver, Scolytus ventralis, and the Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsugae, following tree defoliation by the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Canadian Entomologist

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Cambridge University Press

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Fir engraver and Douglas-fir beetle numbers were monitored during and after an outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth. The population behavior of the two species of bark beetles was similar. Number of emerged offspring/female was highest during the years of defoliation and declined afterward. Total number of beetle attacks peaked 1 to 2 years after defoliation ended and then declined. During and 1 year after defoliation, beetles generally infested trees that had greater than 90% defoliation. After this time infestations were not as strongly associated with heavily defoliated trees. Life tables were constructed for beetles within trees and for beetles per area of forest land. Key mortality factors acting on beetles within trees occurred during the larval and pupal stages. Mortality during adult dispersal was a key factor when beetle density per area of land was considered. Although beetle offspring emerging per dm2 of bark surface was relatively low in defoliated trees, defoliation appeared to reduce host resistance which enabled beetles to successfully attack at lower densities, reducing intraspecific competition, and resulting in increased emergence of offspring/female parent.