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Title: Preoutbreak dynamics of a recently established invasive herbivore: roles of natural enemies and habitat structure in stage-specific performance of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) populations in northeastern Wisconsin
Author: Gray, Rebecca Hoffman; Lorimer, Craig G.; Tobin, Patrick C.; Raffa, Kenneth F.
Source: Environmental Entomology. 37(5): 1174-1184.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: A major challenge to addressing biological invasions is that the need for emergency responses often precludes opportunities to analyze the dynamics between initial establishment and population eruption. Thus, a broader understanding of underlying processes and management opportunities is often lacking. We examined the effects of habitat structure and natural enemies on recently established preeruptive gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L., populations over 4 yr in northeastern Wisconsin. Forty-five sites were established across a range of habitat structures in oak-dominated northern hardwood forests. The number of egg masses was positively related to percent composition of oaks and other favored species. Other life stages were not related to habitat structure variables. Abundance of each life stage can predict the subsequent life stage with variable degrees of accuracy, but male moth densities were only a weak predictor of egg mass or larval densities the following year. The parasitic fly Compsilura concinnata (Meigen), an introduced generalist with deleterious nontarget effects, caused the highest mortality to larvae. The specialist pathogens Entomophaga maimaiga and nucleopolyhedrosis virus were widely distributed but caused less mortality than reported in the northeastern United States, where gypsy moth has been established much longer.
Keywords: Lymantria dispar, habitat structure, invasive species, natural enemies, forest insects
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Gray, Rebecca Hoffman; Lorimer, Craig G.; Tobin, Patrick C.; Raffa, Kenneth F. 2008. Preoutbreak dynamics of a recently established invasive herbivore: roles of natural enemies and habitat structure in stage-specific performance of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) populations in northeastern Wisconsin. Environmental Entomology. 37(5): 1174-1184.
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