Canadian Forest Service Publications
Understanding patterns in forest tent caterpillar outbreaks: Developing effective pest management strategies. 2013. MacQuarrie, C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forestry Service. Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Frontline Express 68. 2p.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 34918
Availability: PDF (download)
Plain Language Summary
This two-page note outlines an analysis of historical patterns of forest tent caterpillar outbreaks. Records dating back to the 1930s show that outbreaks last a few years and recur about every 10 years. The pest defoliates aspen and other deciduous species. The largest area of defoliation recorded was 14.3 million ha in 2001. Repeated defoliation causes growth losses, stresses trees and can lead to aspen decline. Widespread insect damage results in financial losses to the forest industry. A better understanding of the ecology of these outbreaks will lead to more effective management. The knowledge will also help predict the influence of climate change on future outbreaks. This research aligns with the government’s mandate to protect Canada’s natural resources from disturbances.