Cold tolerance and invasive potential of the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) in the eastern United States
- 334 Downloads
Native Lauraceae (e.g. sassafras, redbay) in the southeastern USA are being severely impacted by laurel wilt disease, which is caused by the pathogen Raffaelea lauricola T. C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, and its symbiotic vector, the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff). Cold temperatures are currently the only viable limitation to the establishment of X. glabratus in northern populations of sassafras. The observed lower lethal temperature of X. glabratus (− 10.0 °C) is warmer than its supercooling point (− 22.0 °C), indicating the beetle is a freeze intolerant and chill susceptible species. Empirically derived X. glabratus lower lethal temperature thresholds were combined with host distribution and microhabitat-corrected climate data to produce species distribution models for X. glabratus in the eastern USA. Macroclimate data (30-year mean annual minimum temperature) were corrected (− 1.2 °C) to account for thermal buffering afforded to X. glabratus while living inside sassafras trees. Only 0.1% of the current US sassafras spatial extent experiences sufficiently harsh winters (locales where mean annual minimum winter temperatures ≤ − 6.2 °C for ≥ 12 h) to exclude X. glabratus establishment in our species distribution model. Minimum winter temperatures will likely cause some X. glabratus mortality in ~ 52% of the current spatial extent of sassafras, although current data do not allow a quantification of X. glabratus mortality in this zone. Conversely, ~ 48% of the current spatial extent of sassafras is unlikely to experience sufficiently cold winter temperatures to cause any significant impediment to X. glabratus spread or establishment. A modest climate change scenario (RCP4.5) of + 1.4 °C would result in 91% of the current spatial extent of sassafras in the eastern USA occurring where winter minimum temperatures are unlikely to cause any mortality to X. glabratus.
KeywordsCold tolerance Distribution model Forest invasion Laurel wilt Redbay ambrosia beetle Sassafras
We thank the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Jackson County, Mississippi for making field, laboratory, and dormitory space available for this project. We would specifically like to thank Mark Woodrey and Will Underwood for their help in accommodating research activities at the Grand Bay NERR. We would also like to thank Blake Layton, Frank Sapio, and Richard Brown for their invaluable assistance, comments, and suggestions. Randy Chapin and the Mississippi Forestry Commission provided funding and support. Funding was also provided by cooperative agreements with the USDA Forest Service Region 8 Forest Health Protection and a Forest Health Monitoring Special Detection and Monitoring grant. This publication is a contribution of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, and this material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project under Accession No. 1002487.
Funding was provided by the USDA Forest Service Region 8 Forest Health Protection under a cooperative agreement via the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Bale JS (1993) Classes of insect cold tolerance. Funct Ecol 7:751–753Google Scholar
- Bale JS (1996) Insect cold hardiness: a matter of life and death. Eur J Entomol 93:369–382Google Scholar
- Carnegie AJ, Eldridge RH, Waterson DG (2005) History and management of Sirex wood wasp in pine plantations in New South Wales, Australia. New Zeal J For Sci 35:3Google Scholar
- Hughes MA, Smith JA, Ploetz RC, Kendra PE, Mayfield AE, Hanula JL, Hulcr J, Stelinski LL, Cameron S, Riggins JJ, Carrillo D, Rabaglia R, Eickwort J, Pernas T (2015) Recovery plan for laurel wilt on redbay and other forest species caused by Raffaelea lauricola and disseminated by Xyleborus glabratus. Plant Health Prog 16:173–210Google Scholar
- Kuhlman EG (1978) The devastation of American chestnut by blight. In: MacDonald WL, Cech FC, Luchor J, Smith HC (eds) Proceedings of the American chestnut symposium. West Virginia University Books, Morgantown, pp 1–3Google Scholar
- Liebhold AM, Macdonald WL, Bergdahl D, Mastro VC (1995) Invasion by exotic forest pests: a threat to forest ecosystems. For Sci Mono 30:1–49Google Scholar
- Mayfield AE, Peña JE, Crane JH, Smith JA, Branch CL, Ottoson ED, Hughes M (2008) Ability of the redbay ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) to bore into young avocado (Lauraceae) plants and transmit the laurel wilt pathogen (Raffaelea sp.). Fla Entomol 91:485–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Poland TM, McCullough DG (2006) Emerald ash borer: invasion of the urban forest and the threat to North America’s ash resource. J For 104:118–124Google Scholar
- Ramlov HANS, Lee RE (2000) Extreme resistance to desiccation in overwintering larvae of the gall fly Eurosta solidaginis (Diptera, Tephritidae). J Exp Biology 203:783–789Google Scholar
- Sinclair BJ (1999) Insect cold tolerance: how many kinds of frozen? Eur J Entomol 96:157–164Google Scholar
- Wood SL (1982) The bark and ambrosia beetles of North and Central America (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), a taxonomic monograph. Great Basin Nat 6:1–1359Google Scholar
- Wood SL, Bright DE (1992) A catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), part 2: taxonomic index. Great Basin Nat Mem 13:1–1553Google Scholar