Beetles of Mass Destruction
[6/25/2015] In the newest issue of CFANS Solutions, Derek Rosenberger and Brian Aukema discuss the research they're conducting in the hopes of slowing the mountain pine beetle's advance eastward across the US.
“All of our early data is showing that yes, mountain pine beetle appears to do quite well in our eastern pines. Very well,” Aukema says. “But there are a lot of questions still to be asked in this system. It’s hard to read a story about a quarantine and understand ‘what’s the actual risk to my pines?’ We want to quantify that risk and translate it to people who can use it.”
This summer will mark the second full year of data collection from the field trials, while Aukema’s team has also been performing further testing on the insect’s cold tolerance. He hopes to have a clear picture of how the beetle will survive in Minnesota’s climate by late fall. In particular, he wants to translate their findings into answers that can inform land management policy and practices that will be relevant for the state and the region.