Monday, December 10, 2007 - 8:53 AM

Range expansion of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) into the Peace River region of western Canada: Landscape attributes impacting colonization success in a novel habitat

Honey-Marie C. Giroday,, University of Northern British Columbia, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 3818 Dezell Dr, Prince George, BC, Canada, Allan Carroll, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, 506 W. Burnside Road, Victoria, BC, B. Staffan Lindgren,, University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Forestry, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, Canada, and Brian H. Aukema,, Canadian Forest Service & University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, Canada.

Mountain pine beetle is currently undergoing a dramatic outbreak in western Canada that covers more than 9 million hectares. In the past 5 years, the insect has crossed the historic divide of the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia into Alberta. This range expansion, due in part to altered disturbance regimes and climate change, threatens the boreal forest that stretches to the east coast. Two major dispersal events across the Rocky Mountains occurred in 2002 and 2006. Little is known, however, about settlement patterns of the insects in novel habitats. We present an analysis of aerial survey data collected annually from 2002-2006 to identify dominant patterns of dispersal in relation to susceptible host distribution and topography. This information, combined with ground data on insect productivity in different stand types, may be used to inform management strategies in this area of recent range expansion.

Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae (Scolytinae) Dendroctonus ponderosae (mountain pine beetle)