Canadian Forest Service Publications

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) can produce its aggregation pheromone and complete brood development in naïve red pine (Pinus resinosa) under laboratory conditions. 2015. Cale, J.; Taft, S.; Najar, A.; Klutsch, J.; Hughes, C.; Sweeney, J.D.; Erbilgin, N. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45: 1873-1877.

Year: 2015

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36408

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0277

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Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) has killed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon) forest in western Canada, where it has recently established in the novel host jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and threatens naïve red pine (Pinus resinosa Aiton) forests as the current outbreak expands eastward. It is therefore crucial to understand whether red pine is a suitable host for D. ponderosae. Host suitability was assessed by comparing the ability of beetles to produce pheromones and complete their development in red pine bolts inoculated with mating beetle pairs. We detected two of four primary pheromones, including trans-verbenol and verbenone, but not exo-brevicomin or frontalin. Beetle brood successfully developed in bolts, with reproductive parameters (e.g., female and larval galleries, pupal chamber, and number of broods emerged per mated pair of adults) that were similar to those reported from the beetle's historical host lodgepole pine and the novel host jack pine. These results provide initial evidence that red pine is a suitable host for D. ponderosae. However, it is unclear how either low concentrations or an absence of exo-brevicomin, frontalin, and the synergistic monoterpene myrcene could affect host colonization and establishment of beetles.

Plain Language Summary

The mountain pine beetle has killed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine in western Canada and as has begun to infest a new host, jack pine (Pinus banksiana). There is a risk that the mountain pine beetle may eventually threaten other tree species, such as red pine, as it moves eastward. This paper describes a study that was done to test whether red pine was a suitable host species for the beetle. The study found that the beetle was able to successfully breed in red pine under laboratory conditions. Further studies will be required to determine the risk that the beetle poses to of red pine under natural conditions.