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Spatial dispersal of Douglas-fir beetle populations in Colorado and Wyoming

Posted date: June 27, 2013
Publication Year: 
Authors: Withrow, John R.; Lundquist, John E.; Negron, Jose
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: ISRN Forestry. 2013: Article ID 542380.


Bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) are mortality agents to multiple tree species throughout North America. Understanding spatiotemporal dynamics of these insects can assist management, prediction of outbreaks, and development of "real time" assessments of forest susceptibility incorporating insect population data. Here, dispersal of Douglas-fir beetle (Dendroctonus pseudotsugae Hopk.) is estimated over four regions within Colorado and Wyoming from 1994 to 2010. Infestations mapped from aerial insect surveys are utilized as a proxy variable for Douglas-fir beetle (DFB) activity and analyzed via a novel GIS technique that co-locates infestations from adjacent years quantifying distances between them. Dispersal distances of DFB infestations were modeled with a cumulative Gaussian function and expressed as a standard dispersal distance (SDD), the distance at which 68% of infestations dispersed in a given flight season. Average values of SDD ranged from under 1 kilometer for the region of northwestern Colorado to over 2.5 kilometers for infestations in Wyoming. A statistically significant relationship was detected between SDD and infestation area in the parent year, suggesting that host depletion and density-dependent factors may influence dispersal. Findings can potentially provide insight for managers-namely, likelihood of DFB infestation increase for locations within two to five kilometers of an existing infestation.


Withrow, John R.; Lundquist, John E.; Negron, Jose F. 2013. Spatial dispersal of Douglas-fir beetle populations in Colorado and Wyoming. ISRN Forestry. 2013: Article ID 542380. 10 p.