Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Outbreak Of Native Oak Borers Threatens Ozark Forests

Date:
November 28, 2002
Source:
Southern Research Station - Usda Forest Service
Summary:
Preliminary results from biomonitoring studies by USDA Forest Service researchers confirm an unprecedented outbreak of red oak borers in the upland hardwood forests of the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Preliminary results from biomonitoring studies by USDA Forest Service researchers confirm an unprecedented outbreak of red oak borers in the upland hardwood forests of the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Jim Guldin, research ecologist with the FS Southern Research Station (SRS) and project leader of the SRS Upland Forest Ecosystems unit in Monticello, AR, recently announced the results of a pilot study started this summer to quantify the extent of the outbreak. Designed to provide more information about the distribution of the insect, the plot-based study is funded by the Forest Service, with the research conducted by scientists from SRS, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and other agencies.

The red oak borer, an inch-long beetle native to forests in the eastern United States, causes most of its damage while in the larval stage of a two-year life cycle. The larva burrows through the bark of the oak, carving out galleries in the cambium and the heartwood of the tree. The adults emerge from the oval holes they chew in the bark in odd-numbered years. The red oak borer is usually an insignificant pest that oaks can easily fend off, but since 1999, when unusual levels of infestation were found by the Forest Service near Clarksville, AR, the density of red oak borer populations has steadily increased.

"What we found in our preliminary results confirms an explosion of oak borer infestations," said Guldin. "Outbreaks once consisted of five to 10 borers a tree: now we are seeing 1500 a tree. At this level of attack, the insects literally girdle the tree: tens of thousands of trees have died so far."

During the summer of 2002, researchers installed a pilot study on 44 plots, primarily on National Forest land in Arkansas and Oklahoma."Traditional plots established by the Forest Service for forest health monitoring cannot capture the extent of the problem because the plots are too dispersed and not visited frequently enough," said Guldin. "We need an intensive and wide-scale sampling effort to predict how long this epidemic will last."

Half of the red oaks on the 44 plots were dead, with no new sprouts evident. Ten percent of the white oaks were dead and dying. Based on the preliminary counts from the biomonitoring studies, Guldin estimates that 25 percent--possibly up to 33 percent--of the red oaks of the interior highlands of Arkansas and Missouri will be lost. Guldin believes that the effect on the forests of Oklahoma may be even worse. Guldin emphasizes that results are preliminary and may change with further sampling in the coming year.

Researchers are not sure why this current cycle of infestation has proven so devastating to the red oaks of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Drought and attacks by other insects such as walkingsticks and grasshoppers, combined with the advanced age and high density of the oak stands, may have contributed to a general state of decline that has left the oaks particularly vulnerable to red oak borers.

"Right now we are in the middle of a cycle," said Guldin. "We will learn more when the adults emerge this coming summer. It is very troubling that the oaks killed by borers do not produce sprouts that grow into new trees. If the red borer continues at this level, we may see a significant reduction in the red oak component in the forests of the Interior Highlands that will last for decades."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Research Station - Usda Forest Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Research Station - Usda Forest Service. "Outbreak Of Native Oak Borers Threatens Ozark Forests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126202325.htm>.
Southern Research Station - Usda Forest Service. (2002, November 28). Outbreak Of Native Oak Borers Threatens Ozark Forests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126202325.htm
Southern Research Station - Usda Forest Service. "Outbreak Of Native Oak Borers Threatens Ozark Forests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126202325.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins