Effect of forest structure on dynamics of forest tent caterpillar populations [report]

Jens Roland
i We studied the population dynamics of the principal defoliator of aspen forests as it relates to spatial structure of forests. Life-table and experimental studies were used to identify the effects of forest fragmentation on the process driving population collapse, and on the rate of collapse itself. Outbreaks last longer forests which have been fragmented to some degree. The efficacy of two main sources of tent caterpillar mortality, insect parasitoids and viral disease, is reduced in
more » ... reduced in fragmented forests. This pattern is associated with the longer outbreaks. The variation in dynamics due to forest structure is also assessed relative the larger-scale effects of such things as long-term climate patterns across Alberta. Recommendations are made for methods of managing forests which reduces the duration of outbreaks of this defoliator, and hence reduces the loss of annual growth increment and tree mortality.
doi:10.7939/r3df6k29m fatcat:ghqlbgwlijf6jd5vifcdlf6cdy