Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (12.7 MB)

Title: Southern Pine Beetle Competitors

Author: Stephen, Fred M.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Coulson, R.N.; Klepzig, K.D. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle II. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-140. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 183-198.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: When southern pine beetles mass attack a living pine tree, if colonization is successful the tree dies and its phloem becomes immediately available to a complex of other bark beetles and long-horned beetles, all of which, in order to reproduce, compete for the new resource. In southern pines the phloem-inhabiting guild is composed of the southern pine beetle Dendroctonus frontalis; plus bark beetles in the genus Ips, (I. avulsus, I. grandicollis, and I. calligraphus), as well as the black turpentine beetle, D. terebrans. In addition to these scolytid beetles, long-horned (cerambycid) beetles of several species, the most important being the pine sawyers (Monochamus species), also compete for their larval feeding sites in this temporarily available community. Because aggregation pheromones are the signal used by most of the bark beetles to locate and exploit the limited food source comprised by this newly found tree, it is likely that both intra- and interspecific competition among those arriving individuals will develop. As competition can negatively affect the fitness of all individuals, mechanisms to avoid or minimize competition will evolve. For the bark beetles these mechanisms include their systems of chemical communication (expressed through differences in timing and rate of arrival), variation in body size (and hence ability to use thicker and thinner phloem), gallery structure, oviposition, and larval feeding habits. When bark beetle and Monochamus larvae compete, the competition is highly asymmetric, meaning that Monochamus is not affected by the presence of the bark beetles, which can be greatly disadvantaged by the feeding of the much larger cerambycid larvae. Despite considerable research to document the existence of competition throughout the processes of attack, reemergence, oviposition, and larval development, the larger question of how competition influences southern pine beetle population dynamics remains uncertain.

Keywords: bark beetles, Cerambycidae, competition, population dynamics, Scolytidae

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Stephen, Fred M. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle Competitors. In: Coulson, R.N.; Klepzig, K.D. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle II. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-140. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 183-198.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.