Mountain pine beetles and other bark beetles have killed an unprecedented number of mature trees in western North America in recent decades. How do they do that? Can trees defend themselves? What are the consequences for forests, water, fire and carbon? What will happen in the future with climate change? We will explore these questions as well as what can be done to limit the effects of bark beetles.
By completion of this course, successful students will be able to
- Describe the key biology of bark beetles that affects their success
- Describe the ability of trees to defend themselves against bark beetles and other pests
- Identify the consequences of bark beetle outbreaks for forests and the environment
- Assess the options for managing bark beetles
Mary Reid is a professor in Biological Sciences and the Environmental Science Program at the University of Calgary, and has been studying the behaviour of bark beetles for a few decades. More recently, she has been studying the behaviour of their host trees too, to better understand the conditions under which a beetle or the tree will survive their interaction.