Canadian Forest Service Publications

The fine-scale population dynamics of spruce budworm: survival of early instars related to forest condition. 2008. Régnière, J.; Nealis, V.G. Ecological Entomology 33: 362-373.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28328

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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  1. A lagged, density-dependent relationship between survival of early instars and host-tree condition is revealed during outbreaks of spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana Clem. Persistent damage to hosts leads to deterioration of the stand.

  2. Resource limitation affects survival during early-instar dispersal of spruce budworm. Impediments to distinguishing these events with estimates of survival were overcome with a simple model that describes the dispersal and survival processes. The model was used to analyse a recent 15-year population series from Black Sturgeon Lake and two historical datasets from Green River, in Canada.

  3. Defoliation-induced damage to the trees resulted in increased losses of springemerging larvae that are dispersing in search of feeding sites. Losses were further exacerbated by biotic factors such as maternal fecundity, rates of infection by the pathogen, Nosema fumiferanae, and by weather-related effects on the foraging period.

  4. Survival of early-stage budworm larvae in persistent outbreaks declined and the likelihood of other density-related factors such as rate of mortality from natural enemies increased. These results may reconcile outstanding differences in interpretation of the role of the forest resource in spruce budworm population dynamics and point to a common process linking the dynamics of other well-known budworm species.