Date of Award:

5-2000

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Ecology

Advisor/Chair:

Michael J. Jenkins

Abstract

Laboratory and field feeding tests with Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann proved that both immature and mature seed bugs can use cones and foliage of whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis Engelmann, as a food source for 1- to 2-week periods. Damage to unprotected whitebark pine cones by seed bugs ranged from 0.3 to 2.1 % of seeds per cone, and for bagged cones averaged 0.7% of seeds per cone. Total insect damage ranged from 0.4 to 7.2% of seeds per cone. A seed chalcid, Megastigmus sp., was documented for the first time on whitebark pine and damaged 4.7% of examined seeds at one site. Four out of five upper elevation subsites had an average of 24.9% fewer filled seeds per cone than lower elevation subsites. Within-site elevation differences had no significant effect on cone length, number of seeds per cone, percentage of potential seeds per cone, or percentages of seed bug and insect-damaged seeds per cone.

The larch cone fly Strobilomyia macalpinei Michelsen was found in cones of alpine larch, Larix lyallii Parl., in the Bitterroot Range of Montana. This is the first record of this species in the United States and the first since its description in 1988. Ninety-four percent of a sample of alpine larch cones were damaged by cone fly larvae, and 64% contained larvae or puparia. Colored traps did not succeed in trapping adult cone flies in an alpine larch stand with no cone crop.

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