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Plasticity in life-history traits of the bark beetle Ips calligraphus as influenced by phloem thickness

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Summary

Reproduction and development of Ips calligraphus (Germar) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) occur primarily in the phloem (inner bark) tissue of its pine hosts. In slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii), phloem thickness can vary widely from tree to tree. We compared adult residence time and fecundity and progeny development time, body size, and sex ratio of this beetle when reared in slash pine bolts and bark slabs with phloem thicker or thinner than average adult body width. Most studies were conducted at 20°, 25°, and 30° C. Residence time of parent males and females decreased with increasing temperature but it was not affected by phloem thickness. Residence time of parent males was about 2 days shorter than that of parent females at each temperature. Reproductive fitness was greater in thick phloem at all temperatures as measured by faster larval development, earlier emergence of progeny (F 1 ) adults, and emergence of more progeny adults per parent female. Progeny survival was similar between phloem those from thick phloem, and their sex ratio was female biased (1:2 vs 1:1, male:female). When allowed to inhabit thick phloem, the progeny (F 2) of adults from thin phloem were just as large and of similar sex ratio (1:1) as were progeny of F 1 adults from thick phloem. The high degree of plasticity in the life-history traits of this beetle may enable it to successfully colonize pines that vary widely in phloem thickness.

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Correspondence to R. A. Haack.

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Haack, R.A., Wilkinson, R.C. & Foltz, J.L. Plasticity in life-history traits of the bark beetle Ips calligraphus as influenced by phloem thickness. Oecologia 72, 32–38 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00385041

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Key words

  • Scolytidae
  • Ips
  • Phloem
  • Plasticity