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Temperature explains variable spread rates of the invasive woodwasp Sirex noctilio in the Southern Hemisphere

Formally Refereed
Authors: M.V. Lantschner, J.M. Villacide, J.R. Garnas, P. Croft, A.J. Carnegie, A.M. Liebhold, J.C. Corley
Year: 2014
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Biological Invasions 16: 329-339.


The frequency of introductions of nonindigenous forest insects into new habitats is increasing worldwide, often with profoundly adverse consequences on natural and plantation forest ecosystems. Understanding rates and patterns of spread of invasive forest insects is important for predicting when and where these species will expand their geographical range, with the potential to improve mitigation strategies. The woodwasp Sirex noctilio is a damaging invasive forest insect that kills numerous species of Pinus. Despite encountering highly variable ecoclimatic conditions, S. noctilio has arrived and established in exotic pine forest production areas throughout the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, we compiled historical records of S. noctilio invasion to compare spread rates among eight contrasting ecoclimatic regions in the Southern Hemisphere and to explore how spread rate is predicted by landscape variation in climate, habitat characteristics and anthropogenic effects. Spread rates for S. noctilio varied considerably among the invaded regions, ranging from 12 to 82 km per year. Among regions, spread rates of S. noctilio increased with increasing mean annual temperature and isothermality. We hypothesize that temperature may directly or indirectly influence S. noctilio population growth and dispersal, thereby influencing spread rates.


Exotic pests, Invasion ecology, Range expansion, Landscape ecology, Climate


Lantschner, M. Victoria; Villacide, Jose M.; Garnas, Jeffrey R.; Croft, Philip; Carnegie, Angus J.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Corley, Juan C. 2014. Temperature explains variable spread rates of the invasive woodwasp Sirex noctilio in the Southern Hemisphere. Biological Invasions 16: 329-339.