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Title: Host-plant relationships and comparative ecology of conifer - feeding budworms (Choristoneura spp.)

Author: Nealis, V. G.;

Date: 2003

Source: In: McManus, Michael L.; Liebhold, Andrew M., eds. Proceedings: Ecology, Survey and Management of Forest Insects; 2002 September 1-5; Krakow, Poland. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-311. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 68-74.

Publication Series: Other

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: North American budworms are eruptive insect species that form intimate ecological relationships with their host trees. Population data for the eastern spruce budworm and jack pine budworm implicate natural enemies as primary determinants of population collapses. Yet the dynamics of these two species display markedly different temporal and spatial characteristics. One possible explanation for these differences is variation in the strength of the density-dependent relationship between the budworms and their host trees via the effects of defoliation on the adequacy of the host tree. The proposed density-dependent relationship operates through the concept of risk of dispersal. In the jack pine budworm, previous defoliation reduces subsequent production of pollen cones by the host tree. These pollen cones are critical to survival of early stages of the jack pine budworm so that defoliation has an immediate negative feedback on survival of future generations of budworm. In contrast, the eastern spruce budworm is less reliant on pollen cones for early-season survival because of their capability of mining old needles. However, defoliation over several years creates non-host gaps in the forest and may also increase early-season mortality resulting from dispersal of small larvae. Thus host-plant relationships may be density-dependent sources of mortality in these life systems via their effect on the risk of mortality resulting from dispersal. Variation in the strength of this density-dependent interaction contributes to differences in the dynamical behavior of the different budworm species.

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Citation:


Nealis, V. G. 2003. Host-plant relationships and comparative ecology of conifer - feeding budworms (Choristoneura spp.). In: McManus, Michael L.; Liebhold, Andrew M., eds. Proceedings: Ecology, Survey and Management of Forest Insects; 2002 September 1-5; Krakow, Poland. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-311. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 68-74.

 


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