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Title: Why do populations of southern pine beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) fluctuate?

Author: Turchin, P.; Lorio, P.L. Jr.; Taylor, A.D.; Billings, R.F.;

Date: 1991

Source: Environmental Entomology 20: 401-409

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: It is widely believed that population outbreaks of the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm.) are caused by vagaries of climate, such as periods of severe drought.According to this view, D. frontalis population dynamics are dominated by density-independent processes.We have statistically analyzed a 30-yr record of D. frontalis activity in east Texas and have assessed the relative roles of density-independent and density-dependent factors in beetle population fluctuations.Both time-series and regression analyses provided strong and consistent evidence for delayed density regulation of D. frontalis populations.Thus, we conclude that D. frontalis outbreaks are driven not by stochastic fluctuations of weather, but by some unknown population process acting in a delayed density-dependent manner.This result provides a starting point for a current study that will experimentally test various hypotheses concerning the role of natural enemies in D. frontalis cycles.

Keywords: Insecta, Dendroctonus frontalis, population dynamics, time series

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Turchin, P.; Lorio, P.L., Jr.; Taylor, A.D.; Billings, R.F. 1991. Why do populations of southern pine beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) fluctuate?. Environmental Entomology 20: 401-409


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