2012-04-16. Beetles’ Birth Explosion Puts Trees Under Stress

posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:27 AM by Alan D. GOULD   [ updated Apr 17, 2012, 7:41 AM ]
 | Sindya Bhanoo, New York Times. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Mountain pine beetles attack and kill weak pine trees, boring into bark to lay their eggs. They attack the trees in hordes, and their larvae feed off fungi in the trees. Now, the beetles are reproducing twice a year instead of once, and millions of trees are dying as a result. The beetle species is several million years old, and historically larvae grow to be adults in July or August every year. But it has been getting warmer earlier in the year, and larvae mature faster and emerge as early as May. These new beetles then immediately lay eggs, and a second generation of adult beetles emerges as early as July because summers are so warm, said Scott M. Ferrenberg, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder and an author of a study in the coming issue of The American Naturalist…. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/science/beetles-birth-explosion-puts-pine-trees-under-stress.html?ref=science