Density related plasticity in stand-level spatial distribution of the ambrosia beetle, Platypus koryoensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that the population density of ambrosia beetles at the stand level influences the spatial distribution of infested trees. We evaluated the spatial distribution of the ambrosia beetle, Platypus koryoensis (Murayama) in three oak forest stands that varied in beetle population density using a multi-year trapping survey. We used these data to inform a clustering analysis based on aggregation indices using the SADIE software. Four important findings emerged: (1) the spatial distribution pattern of P. koryoensis at the stand level changed as the population density of the beetle varied; (2) at low population densities, beetle distribution was contagious at the stand level; (3) as beetle population densities increased, the spatial distribution of infested trees became random, potentially due to beetle avoidance of mass attacked trees; and (4) at high beetle population densities, the spatial distribution of infested trees became contagious, possibly due to temporal changes in location of the attack epicenter within the stand. Our results support the hypothesis that beetle population density has consequences for the spatial distribution of infested trees at the within-stand scale. We conclude that the spatial distribution of infested trees is flexible in response to beetle population density, suggesting that beetle attack behaviors are mediated by one or more density-dependent effects.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Robert Haack for valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper, Dr. Thomas Seth Davis for English language editing and anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Won Il Choi.

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Nam, Y., Choi, W.I., Won, DS. et al. Density related plasticity in stand-level spatial distribution of the ambrosia beetle, Platypus koryoensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Popul Ecol 55, 3–10 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10144-012-0353-2

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Keywords

  • Epicenter
  • Mass attack
  • Optimization
  • Platypus koryoensis
  • SADIE
  • Spatial distribution