Activity 4

Mountain pine beetle eastern spread-risk: Beetle physiology and behaviour as drivers of spread

Goal: Determine how overwintering temperatures and pine host attributes in the expanded range influence mountain pine beetle fitness, dynamics and local adaptation.


To develop an understanding of the role of beetle physiology and behaviour in driving potential eastern mountain pine beetle spread, we are determining how overwintering temperatures and pine host attributes in these marginal habitats affect mountain pine beetle fitness, and analyzing mountain pine beetle populations for genomic signatures of adaptation to these novel habitats. Mountain pine beetle host-influenced trait information is also being used in development of the mountain pine beetle eastern spread risk model.


Deliverables related to Activities 3 & 4:

  • Relative mountain pine beetle spread-risk ratings for novel habitats based on spread-risk models and risk maps developed using pine host genetic attributes (1) and mountain pine beetle host-influenced overwintering and chemical ecology attributes (2) to predict eastward and northward spread through the Boreal forest

  • Mechanistically informed models to predict survival, dispersal ability and fecundity of mountain pine beetle living in and beyond their current range

  • Population genomic evidence for the degree of rapid mountain pine beetle adaptation to novel habitats

Activity 4