Continuous population estimates for Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) occurring in infestations Academic Article uri icon


  • Infestations of Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm. are often observed to enlarge continuously by the colonization of new hosts in a pattern similar to a forest fire. This pattern of infestation growth presents unique problems in quantitatively estimating populations of D. frontalis. Beetle populations on each infested tree in an infestation go through five processes: attack, oviposition, reemergence, survivorship, and emergence. These processes, which have been described mathematically in the literature, each take several days for completion. In order to follow the distribution and abundance of D. frontalis throughout the course of development of a spot, we need a daily estimate of the number of beetles involved in each process on every tree. Since it is not practical to sample each tree daily, we developed a procedure whereby quantitative estimation procedures for within-tree populations were used in combination with the mathematical models for the life processes to produce a daily record of the number of adults successfully attacking trees, the number of eggs oviposited, the number of beetles reemerging, number of beetles surviving within the trees, and the number of beetles emerging. These daily estimates were then summarized for all trees in the spot for the duration of the infestation. The daily record of populations of D. frontalis, used with information on infestation geometry, were suggested to be of value in describing and elucidating several important facets of population dynamics including dispersal patterns within infestations, between tree beetle loss (mortality), and time lags among the various population processes. The information reported can be used to develop simulation models of population dynamics or to validate existing models. 1980 The Society of Population Ecology.

published proceedings

  • Population Ecology

author list (cited authors)

  • Coulson, R. N., Pulley, P. E., Pope, D. N., Fargo, W. S., & Edson, L. J.

complete list of authors

  • Coulson, RN||Pulley, PE||Pope, DN||Fargo, WS||Edson, LJ

publication date

  • January 1, 1980 11:11 AM