Beech bark disease (BBD) is a forest pest complex that consists of an exotic scale insect, Cryptococcus fagisuga, and at least two species of native and exotic Nectria fungi. BBD will likely result in significant mortality of American beech, Fagus grandifolia, throughout its range, and have profound impacts on native forest communities. The masting biology of American beech will be affected by BBD, and this will likely affect those taxa, particularly small mammals, that rely on beech seed for sustenance. Five small mammal trapping grids were established throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at each of three treatments (beech absent, healthy beech, and beech infected with BBD). Trapping was performed continually throughout the summer, and population estimates for individual species and measures of species diversity were developed. To determine the relative value of American beech seed to small mammals, a study was designed to measure the giving-up density (GUD) for beech seed versus sugar maple, Acer saccharum, seed. Known quantities of beech and maple seed were mixed with sand, placed in trays, and left out for three consecutive nights in previously established trapping grids. The quantity of each seed type remaining in the trays was measured each morning, and the GUDs for beech and maple were established. Finally, beech seed was collected at all 10 trapping grids located in beech forests in order to measure differences in mast production between healthy beech forests and beech forests with BBD.
Species 1: Homoptera Cryptococcidae Cryptococcus fagisuga (beech scale)
Keywords: beech bark disease
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