This Sept. 20, 2013 photo provided by the USDA Forest Service shows a southern pine beetle completing metamorphosis into an adult that will attack a pine tree, at Kisatchie National Forest, in Pineville, La. The beetle that has killed millions of acres of pines in southern forests is munching its way north, and new research suggests its tree-killing prowess could be magnified in cooler climes. (Erich Vallery/USDA Forest Service via AP)

Pine-killing southern beetle may be more deadly in North

June 10, 2018 - 10:24 am

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A bark beetle that has devastated southern pine forests is moving north as the climate warms, and new research suggests cool weather could amplify its attacks.

Dartmouth researchers say cooler fall and winter temperatures in the Northeast arrest the development of southern pine beetle larvae, resulting in massive numbers of adults emerging at once in spring.

The beetle relies on mass attacks to overcome a tree's natural defenses.

Once unheard-of north of Delaware, southern pine beetles have steadily expanded their range as the climate warms. Efforts are underway to quell a large outbreak on Long Island and monitoring traps have caught beetles as far north as New England.

Northeastern pine forests are mainly white pines, which are less susceptible to the beetles. But pitch pine barrens could be at risk.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()