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Journal of Biogeography, 26, 11331145 Climate and the northern distribution limits of
 

Summary: Journal of Biogeography, 26, 1133­1145
Climate and the northern distribution limits of
Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann (Coleoptera:
Scolytidae)
Matthew J. Ungerer, Matthew P. Ayres and MariŽa J. Lombardero Department of Biological
Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, U.S.A.
Abstract
The southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis, is among the most important agents of
ecological disturbance and economic loss in forests of the south-eastern United States. We
combined physiological measurements of insect temperature responses with climatic analyses
to test the role of temperature in determining the northern distribution limits of D. frontalis.
Laboratory measurements of lower lethal temperatures and published records of mortality
in wild populations indicated that air temperatures of -16° should result in almost 100%
mortality of D. frontalis. The distribution limits for D. frontalis approximate the isoline
corresponding to an annual probability of 0.90 of reaching -16 °C. Thus, D. frontalis
have been found about as far north as they could possibly occur given winter temperature
regimes. At latitudes from 39° N (southern Ohio) to 33° N (central Alabama), winter
temperatures must exert high mortality on D. frontalis populations in at least one year out
of ten. In contrast, we reject the hypotheses that summer temperatures or the distribution
of host trees constrain the northern distribution of D. frontalis. Because of the short

  

Source: Ayres, Matthew.P. - Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology