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   Dendroctonus valens (insect)
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         General Impact

    Bark beetles (family: Scolytidae) are common pests of conifers, especially pine (Seybold Paine & Dreistadt 2008). The red turpentine beetle has been recorded on at least 40 species of conifer (Liu et al. 2006). Dendroctonus valens has a high intrinsic capacity for adaptation with new hosts compared to other species of Dendroctonus (Sturgeon & Mitton 1982, Kelley & Farrell 1998, in Erbilgin et al. 2007).
    D. valens attacks all pine species, and occasionally spruce and larch, within its range in North America (Yan et al. 2005). Major Pinus spp. affected are P. ponderosa, P. contorta, P. jeffreyi, P. lambertiana, P. monticola, P. radiata, P. strobes, P. resinosa, P. rigida, P. echinata and Pinus banksian (Yan et al. 2005). Damage to Pinus armandi and Picea meyeri is unconfirmed (Zhang et al. 2002, in Yan et al. 2005). P. ponderosa is reported as the tree most frequently infested with D. valens and P. radiata as the tree most frequently killed by D. valens infestations (Smith 1971). In China D. valens primarily attacks P. tabuliformis and P. bungeana. Occasional hosts include Picea meyeri and P. sylvestris (Yan et al. 2005). P. sylvestris var. mongolica is a rare pine species found in Shanxi province and it has occasionally been attacked by D. valens. The oleoresin compositions of P. massoniana and P. armandi are so similar to P. tabuliformis that they are presumed hosts. However, it is believed that all Asian pine are potentially at risk of D. valens infestation (Yan et al. 2005). In China D. valens will colonise both stressed and healthy pines rather than only stressed pines as is the case in North America. The enormous damage caused D. valens in China is thought to be facilitated by drought conditions, degradation of pine sites, the presence of fungal associates and the use of monocultures (Li et al. 2001, in Yan et al. 2005). Logging and farming activities may also contribute to the spread of the beetle (Furniss & Carolin 1977; Miao et al. 2001).The red turpentine beetle is spreading throughout four Chinese provinces. In these provinces it has infested and killed more than 6 million P. tabulaeformis, covering an area of half a million hectares of ecologically and economically valuable forest (Cognato et al. 2005; Liu & Dai 2006). In northern China the land is very dry, the watershed is low and soil conservation is paramount. Billions of tons of agricultural and other soils are annually washed down the Yellow River. Reforestation and forest protection programs, begun in the 1900s, have since involved the planting of P. tabulaeformis and P. armandi pine to reforest the land and prevent soil erosion. The status of these reforestation programs is currently threatened by D. valens infestations. The potential damage inflicted by D. valens to reforested and naturally forested lands in northern Chinis enormous (LUBIES 2004). The interaction between D. valens and native pine-infesting diseases, beetles and insects (including two congeners D. Kugelann and D. armandi) is unknown (Yan et al. 2005). Secondary bark beetles such as D. valens may vector root disease organisms (Joseph et al. 2001). In the United States D. valens is known to carry the virulent fungus Leptographium terebrantis which infects ponderosa pine and may contribute to host pine mortality (LUBIES 2004; Yan et al. 2005). It is unknown what fungal species may be associated with D. valens in its range in China.



         Location Specific Impacts:
    China English 
    Economic/Livelihoods: The red turpentine beetle D. valens is one of the most economically destructive forest pests in China, having killed more than 6 million pines in recent years (Liu et al. 2008).
    The Pine is a major reforestation tree in China and P. tabulaeformis is widely planted across a large portion of the country. The potential for this exotic beetle to cause harm is overwhelming (Li et al. 2001, Sun et al. 2003, in Liu et al. 2006).

    Ecosystem change: D. valens causes considerable damage on Pinus tabulaeformis and occasionally on P. armandi. Damage has occurred mainly on pines in the Shanxi province but also recently in the neighbouring provinces of Henan, Hebei and Shaanxi. Because China suffers from considerable erosion problems the reforestation of previously forested lands and protection of existing forests is paramount. Billions of tons of agricultural and other soil are annually washed down the Yellow River. Pinus tabulaeformis and other pine species have been planted in programs designed to mitigate the harm caused by erosion since the 1990s. In this context, D. valens presents an enormous actual and potential threat to these reforested lands as well as to naturally forested lands in northern regions of China (LUBIES 2004).
    Hebei (China) English 
    Reduction in native biodiversity: More than 500 000 hectares of pine forests have been attacked in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hebei and Henan and it is estimated that over 10 million Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. (alternative spelling Pinus tabuliformis) have been killed by the beetle (Yan et al. 2005, in Cai et al. 2008).
    Henan (China) English 
    Reduction in native biodiversity: More than 500 000 hectares of pine forests have been attacked in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hebei and Henan and it is estimated that over 10 million Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. (alternative spelling Pinus tabuliformis) have been killed by the beetle (Yan et al. 2005, in Cai et al. 2008).
    Shanxi (China) English 
    Economic/Livelihoods: There are valuable pine forests in the mountains of China less than 3000 meters in elevation. The potential range of D. valens is much wider than its current distribution putting these forestry investments at risk of infestation (Song et al. 2000, in Yan et al. 2005).

    Ecosystem change: "Pine trees in northern China, including P. tabuliformis (at highest risk of D. valens infestation) have been widely planted in high elevation areas for several decades. The pines are used in reforestation because of their cold-resistant and drought-resistant properties. P. tabuliformis and other pine species play significant roles in water and soil conservation in the fragile ecosystem of barren Chinese mountainous areas. The decline of pine forests caused by D. valens, if left unchecked and unmitigated, will increase soil erosion, alter habitats and have adverse impacts on native fauna and flora.

    ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES:  Important forest ecosystem processes may be affected. As forest ecosystems change, the use of the forest for resources, recreation and by wildlife may be affected. "
    Interaction with other invasive species: Forests in China infested with D. valens are also in danger of attack by the beetle Hylastes parallelus Chapuis (Wu et al. 2002). The interaction between these two beetles, as well as the role of H. parallelus in D. valens infestations, are unknown.

    Reduction in native biodiversity: More than 10 million Pinus tabuliformis pine have reportedly been killed in China by D. valens. Other pine species, including Pinus bungeana have also been affected (Li et al. 2001, Miao et al. 2001, Zhang et al. 2002, in Yan et al. 2005).

    Mexico English 
    Reduction in native biodiversity: Despite its abundance and wide distribution D. valens has not generally produced extensive or severe outbreaks in North America (Smith 1971, Cibrian-Tovar et al. 1995, in Liu et al. 2006). However, recently it has been causing moderate mortality among ponderosa pines in a thinned, subsoiled plantation near Pondosa (California, USA) and Mexico (Britton and Sun 2001, Rappaport et al. 2001, in Liu et al. 2006).
    North America English 
    Reduction in native biodiversity: Despite its abundance and wide distribution D. valens has not generally produced extensive or severe outbreaks in North America (Smith 1971, Cibrian-Tovar et al. 1995, in Liu et al. 2006). However, recently it has been causing moderate mortality among ponderosa pines in a thinned, subsoiled plantation near Pondosa (California, USA) and Mexico (Britton and Sun 2001, Rappaport et al. 2001, in Liu et al. 2006).
    Carmel (United States (USA)) English 
    Ecosystem change: Increasing urbanisation is having a greater impact on natural forest stands and may alter forest insect-pathogen-tree relations (Nowak & McBride 1992).
    Siskiyou County (United States (USA)) English 
    Ecosystem change: D. valens was recently found to be the cause of appreciable pine mortality in a thinned, subsoiled ponderosa pine plantation near Pondosa.
    Lassen National Forest (United States (USA)) English 
    Disease transmission: Schweigkofler and colleagues (2005) found relatively low levels of insect-fungus association rates for Dendroctonus valens (LeConte). However it was clear from the results that D. valens is a potential insect vector for the ophiostomatoid fungus Leptographium wageneri.
    United States (USA) English 
    Ecosystem change: Declining red pine Pinus resinosa (Aitman) stands in the Great Lakes region appears to be due to both biotic and abiotic factors. Erbilgin, Nadir and Raffa (2002) found declining stands were found to have more lower-stem-infesting bark beetles, including D. valens and weevils Pissodes species. Klepzig and colleagues (1991) found that populations of D. valens were higher in declining than in healthy stands. The presence of the bark beetle does not mean it is the cause of pine tree decline as it is possible that the beetles are simply opportunistic secondary feeders (Erbilgin, Nadir and Raffa 2002).



ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland