Canadian Forest Service Publications

A lagged, density-dependent relationship between jack pine budworm Choristoneura pinus pinus and its host tree Pinus banksiana. 2003. Nealis, V.G.; Magnussen, S.; Hopkin, A.A. The Royal Entomological Society 28: 183-192.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 21533

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

Mark record


  1. Survival of newly emerged jack pine budworm Choristoneura pinus pinus is related to the density of available pollen cones (microsporangiate strobili) produced by its host tree, jack pine Pinus banksiana.
  2. A 7-year time series of observations from a plot network in Ontario. Canada, compared the propensity of jack pine to produce pollen cones, t, on trees that were either defoliated or undisturbed by the jack pine budworm.
  3. Non-defoliated jack pine trees have a high propensity to produce pollen cones. More than one-third of these trees produced pollen cones in every year of the series. Propensity varied significantly among plots and trees. Temporal patterns in propensity were also highly variable but within a plot propensity was often autocorrelated in time.
  4. Defoliation by the jack pine budworm was associated with forest plots composed of the oldest and the largest trees and with the fewest trees per hectare. Within a plot, outbreaks lasted 3 or 4 years although individual trees were only defoliated in 1 or 2 years.
  5. The propensity to produce pollen cones in jack pine was reduced in the years after defoliation. The most pronounced reductions in propensity occurred where defoliation was most severe.
  6. The reduction in propensity to produce pollen cones resulting from previous defoliation, coupled with the dependence of jack pine budworm survival on the availability of pollen cones, induces a lagged, negative feedback between the density of the consumer and that of its resource.
  7. The lagged, density-dependent relationship between jack pine budworm and its jack pine host contributes to oscillatory dynamics of the jack pine budworm. Comparison of the outbreak behaviour of jack pine budworm with that of the closely related eastern spruce budworm C. fumiferana suggests that differences in the strength of the host-plant interaction may account for differences in the relative frequency of outbreaks in the respective systems.