Spatial Distribution of Ambrosia-Beetle Catches: A Possibly Useful Knowledge to Improve Mass-Trapping
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Several species of ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) have recently started attacking standing, living beeches (Fagus sylvatica) in southern Belgium. In 2001, 1.3 million m3 of apparently healthy trees were struck. So far the outbreak has been limited to the Ardenne, and partly the Gaume, areas, and Brussels has been untouched. The city of Brussels is surrounded by a vast 4300 ha forest, mainly planted with beech, the Forêt de Soignes, of invaluable ecological and recreational value, of which 1600 ha belong to the regional authorities. In the spring 2001, these latter commissionned a study to assess the new threat to the forest. A 500 m×500 m grid of small traps, baited with ethanol and lineatin, was deployed over the regional part of the forest. The main species caught were Trypodendron domesticum, Anisandrus dispar and, in high numbers, Xylosandrus germanus, an exotic species of Asian origin found for the first time in Belgium in 1994. Whilst there was a consistent homogeneity between catches within the same sites (2 traps/site, distant by 2–6 m), there were no spatial relationships between catches at larger distances for T. domesticum and A. dispar. For X. germanus, spatial autocorrelations were observed within distances of 2000 m, suggesting that this species has sufficient mobility to cover this range. The planning of the 2002 trapping campaign will take this information into account: the traps will be deployed within a smaller grid.
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