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Host Tree Influences on Longicorn Beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Attack in Subtropical Corymbia (Myrtales: Myrtaceae)

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Nahrung, H. F., Smith, T. E., Wiegand, A. N., Lawson, S. A. and Debuse, V. J. (2014) Host Tree Influences on Longicorn Beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Attack in Subtropical Corymbia (Myrtales: Myrtaceae). Environmental Entomology, 43 (1). pp. 37-46.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EN13133

Publisher URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/envent/2014/00000043/00000001/art00005


Phoracantha longicorn beetles are endemic to Australia, and some species have become significant pests of eucalypts worldwide, yet little is known about their host plant interactions and factors influencing tree susceptibility in Australia. Here, we investigate the host relationships of Phoracantha solida (Blackburn, 1894) on four eucalypt taxa (one pure species and three hybrid families), examining feeding site physical characteristics including phloem thickness, density, and moisture content, and host tree factors such as diameter, height, growth, taper, and survival. We also determine the cardinal and vertical (within-tree) and horizontal (between-tree) spatial distribution of borers. Fewer than 10% of P. solida attacks were recorded from the pure species (Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegate (Hook)), and this taxon also showed the highest survival, phloem thickness, relative growth rate, and bark:wood area. For the two most susceptible taxa, borer severity was negatively correlated with moisture content, and positively related to phloem density. Borers were nonrandomly and nonuniformly distributed within trees, and were statistically aggregated in 32% of plots. More attacks were situated on the northern side of the tree than the other aspects, and most larvae fed within the lower 50 cm of the bole, with attack height positively correlated with severity. Trees with borers had more dead neighbors, and more bored neighbors, than trees without borers, while within plots, borer incidence and severity were positively correlated. Because the more susceptible taxa overlapped with less susceptible taxa for several physical tree factors, the role of primary and secondary chemistries in determining host suitability needs to be investigated. Nevertheless, taxon, moisture content, phloem density, tree size, and mortality of neighboring trees appeared the most important physical characteristics influencing host suitability for P. solida at this site.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Phoracantha eucalypt hybrid insect&#8208 plant interaction
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Science > Entomology
Live Archive:19 Aug 2014 02:46
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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