Journal of Chemical Ecology

, 20:3307 | Cite as

Ethanol and ambrosia beetles in Douglas fir logs with and without branches

  • Rick G. Kelsey


November-felled Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) logs with and without branches were left lying on the forest floor through August. In May, as the logs were being colonized by ambrosia beetles,Trypodendron lineatum (Oliv.) andGnathotrichus retusus (LeConte), the ethanol, acetaldehyde, and water concentrations in the delimbed logs were significantly higher than in the branched logs. Since both log types received the same rainfall, lower water contents in branched logs was probably the result of absorbed water being transported through the branches via capillary movement and evaporation. Lower tissue water levels could have prevented the establishment and maintenance of anaerobic conditions, thus limiting the synthesis of acetaldehyde and ethanol in the branched logs. By late August, the beetle densities in delimbed logs were 9–16 times greater than in the branched logs. Log ethanol concentrations could be a key chemical factor affecting the ambrosia beetle attack densities. Acetaldehyde concentrations in the logs also may have affected the attack densities.

Key Words

Pseudotsuga menziesii Trypodendron lineatum Gnathotrichus retusus Coleoptera Scolytidae anaerobic respiration volatile attractants host selection 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rick G. Kelsey
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServicePacific Northwest Research StationCorvallis

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