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Physiological, ecological and environmental factors that predispose trees, stands and landscapes to infestation by tree-killing Dendroctonus beetles Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
mountain pine beetle, forest ecology, blue stain fungus, symbiosis, silviculture, fertilization, thinning, lodgepole pine
blue stain fungus
mountain pine beetle
fertilization
silviculture
symbiosis
forest ecology
lodgepole pine
thinning
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Goodsman, Devin W.
Supervisor and department
Vic Lieffers and Nadir Erbilgin, Department of Renewable Resources
Examining committee member and department
Staffan Lindgren, Ecosystem Science and Management, UNBC
Maya Evenden, Biological Sciences, U of A
Victor J. Lieffers, Renewable Resources, U of A
Simon Landhäusser, Renewable Resources, U of A
Nadir Erbilgin, Renewable Resources, U of A
Staffan Lindgren, Ecosystem Science and Management, UNBC, Maya Evenden, Biological Sciences, U of A, Simon Landhäusser, Renewable Resources, U of A, Nadir Erbilgin, Renewable Resources, U of A, Victor J. Lieffers, Renewable Resources, U of A
Department
Department of Renewable Resources
Specialization
Forest Biology and Management
Date accepted
2012-11-30T16:07:57Z
Graduation date
2013-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
In the last century the frequency and severity of outbreaks of tree-killing Dendroctonus beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) have increased. Small-scale drivers within trees likely drive outbreak dynamics across landscapes. At a small scale, variation in carbohydrate availability within the stems of lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) impacts the fungal symbionts of the mountain pine beetle (D. ponderosae Hopkins). I found that, during the growing season, carbohydrates were less available in the lower stems of pines than in their upper stems. After inoculation with a fungal symbiont of the mountain pine beetle however, trees mobilized carbohydrates to lesion fronts regardless of inoculation height along the stem. Interestingly, lesions that formed in response to fungal inoculation were larger in the lower portion of the stem than in the upper stem, likely due to due to lower initial concentrations of carbohydrates available to fund responses to fungal attack. I evaluated the consequences of common silvicultural treatments in stands attacked by bark beetles and found that small-scale interactions remained important in these systems. Fertilization reduced carbohydrate reserves in the roots of lodgepole pine trees by promoting tree growth. As trees use carbohydrate reserves to fund defensive responses, fertilized trees may therefore exhibit weakened defenses against bark beetle attack. In a separate experiment I found that fertilization increased beetle survival in bolts that overwintered in the Crowsnest Pass —an effect that was mediated by their fungal symbionts. In a landscape-scale analysis of a 30-year dataset, I found no evidence that defoliation by a lepidopteran (Choristoneura biennis Freeman) facilitates local spruce beetle (D. rufipennis Kirby) outbreaks in British Columbia. Thus, small-scale characteristics of bark beetle biology undoubtedly impact their populations whereas I was unable to confirm the importance of landscape-scale ecological interactions.
Language
English
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Goodsman, D. W., N. Erbilgin, and V. J. Lieffers. 2012a. The impact of phloem nutrients on overwintering mountain pine beetles and their fungal symbionts. Environmental Entomology 41:478–486. Goodsman, D. W., V. J. Lieffers, S. M. Landhäusser, and N. Erbilgin. 2010. Fertilization of lodgepole pine trees increased diameter growth but reduced root carbohydrate concentrations. Forest Ecology and Management 260:1914–1920. Goodsman, D. W., I. Lusebrink, S. M. Landhäusser, N. Erbilgin, and V. J. Lieffers. 2012b. Variation in carbon availability, defense chemistry and susceptibility to fungal invasion along tree boles. New Phytologist 41:478– 486.

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