The preference-performance hypothesis states that ovipositing phytophagous insects will select host plants that are well-suited for their offspring and avoid host plants that do not support offspring performance (survival, development and fitness). The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), a native insect herbivore in western North America, can successfully attack and reproduce in most species of Pinus throughout its native range. However, mountain pine beetles avoid attacking Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva), despite recent climate-driven increases in mountain pine beetle populations at the high elevations where Great Basin bristlecone pine grows. Low preference for a potential host plant species may not persist if the plant supports favorable insect offspring performance, and Great Basin bristlecone pine suitability for mountain pine beetle offspring performance is unclear. We infested cut bolts of Great Basin bristlecone pine and two susceptible host tree species, limber (P. flexilis) and lodgepole (P. contorta) pines with adult mountain pine beetles and compared offspring performance. To investigate the potential for host adaptation in offspring performance, we tested mountain pine beetles from populations within and outside of Great Basin bristlecone pine range. Although mountain pine beetles laid viable eggs in all three tree species, extremely few offspring emerged from Great Basin bristlecone pine, regardless of the beetle population. Our observed low offspring performance in Great Basin bristlecone pine corresponds with previously documented low mountain pine beetle attack preference. A low preference-low performance relationship suggests that Great Basin bristlecone pine resistance to mountain pine beetle is likely to be retained through climate-driven high-elevation mountain pine beetle outbreaks.
Author ORCID Identifier
Barbara J Bentz https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2741-1542
Erika L. Eidson https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0462-6284
USDA, Forest Service (FS);
USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Utah State University
USDA, Forest Service (FS) WC-EM-F-14-1; USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) UTAE-2010-03313
See README file.
Eidson, E. L., Mock, K. E., & Bentz, B. J. (2018). Low offspring survival in mountain pine beetle infesting the resistant Great Basin bristlecone pine supports the preference-performance hypothesis. PLOS ONE, 13(5), e0196732. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196732
Eidson, E. L. (2017). Great Basin Bristlecone Pine Resistance to Mountain Pine Beetle: An Evaluation of Dendroctonus ponderosae Host Selection Behavior and Reproductive Success in Pinus longaeva. M.S. Thesis. Utah State University. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/etd/6324/
Site: The site from which the host tree was cut. ìCaveMtnî = Cave Mountain, Nevada; ìDixieNFî = Dixie National Forest, Utah; ìLoganCanyonî = Logan Canyon, Utah.
Bristlecone = Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)
CVB = Cave Mountain Bristlecone
CVL = Cave Mountain Limber
DXB = Dixie Bristlecone
DXL = Dixie Limber
F = female
ID = identification
LCL = Logan Canyon Lodgepole
Limber = limber pine (Pinus flexilis)
Lodgepole = lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)
M = male MPB = mountain pine beetle
NV = Nevada Spp = species
UT = Utah
For more details, see README file.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Entomology | Population Biology
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Bentz, B. J., Mock, K. E., & Eidson, E. L. (2018). Reproductive success of mountain pine beetle infesting cut bolts of Great Basin bristlecone pine, limber pine, and lodgepole pine. Utah State University. https://doi.org/10.15142/T38S7D
Additional FilesAlldata_README.txt (21 kB)
Digital Commons Data.zip (39 kB)
Mating_and_Fecundity.csv (7 kB)
Offpsring_Emergence.csv (605 kB)
Offspring_Emergence_Galleries.csv (25 kB)
Offspring_Emergence_per_Bolt.csv (1 kB)
Parent_Beetle_Size.csv (34 kB)
Phloem_Thickness.csv (1 kB)