The fungal pathogen Entomophaga maimaiga (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) has been responsible for significant declines in gypsy moth [(Lymantria dispar L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)] defoliation in the northeastern U.S. since 1989. Earlier modeling efforts suggest that climate, especially its variation in temperature and moisture, plays a critical role during E. maimaiga epizootics. We conjectured that sites within the North Central region with greater climatic similarity to the northeastern U.S. are more likely to support effective populations of this fungal pathogen. We used the climatological software CLIMEX to compare locations with efficacious populations of E. maimaiga in the northeastern U.S. to other sites within the North Central region. Comparisons were based on 30-year average daily maximum temperature, minimum temperature, total precipitation, and precipitation pattern. The CLIMEX meteorological database was augmented with 832 additional sites to better represent climatic variability within the North Central region. Preliminary results from the model suggest varying levels of similarity throughout the region, with levels of precipitation being relatively similar. Additionally, an overall measure of climatic similarity within the region suggests that a relatively small area is highly similar to northeastern E. maimaiga sites, and variation in climate may limit long-term effectiveness of this gypsy moth fungal pathogen beyond this area. This information will be particularly useful as North Central states continue and/or prepare to implement E. maimaiga into their integrated management programs in an effort to better manage gypsy moth in the future.
Species 1: Lepidoptera Lymantriidae Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)
Species 2: Zygomycetes Entomophthorales Entomophaga maimaiga
Keywords: CLIMEX, forest entomology
Back to Student Competition Display Presentations, Section Cd. Behavior and Ecology
Back to Student Competition Posters
Back to The 2003 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition