Southern Pine Beetle Herbivory in the Southern United States: Moving from External Disturbance to Internal Process Chapter uri icon


  • Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann; herein referred to as SPB) is the most destructive pest of pine forests in the southern United States (U.S.). To reproduce, adult SPBs must find, attack, and kill a suitable host tree (i.e., pine species; Pinus spp.). Across most of the beetles range (Fig. 7.1), it kills trees grown for commercial timber, recreation, or other ecosystem services, placing SPB in direct conflict with those who manage the forests. The damage it causes occurs in large, unpredictable pulses in space and time. Most years, populations occur at low densities and are almost undetectable within a forest. Periodically, populations undergo rapid growth, leading to regional outbreaks. During outbreaks, spatially discrete aggregations of dead and infested trees occur bacross a broader forest landscape of healthy trees (Fig. 7.2). Regional outbreaks may last for several years before population densities return to endemic levels.

author list (cited authors)

  • Birt, A. G., & Coulson, R. N.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Birt, Andrew G||Coulson, Robert N

Book Title

  • Simulation Modeling of Forest Landscape Disturbances

publication date

  • July 2015