Field translocation of mountain pine beetles suggests phoretic mite communities are locally adapted, and mite populations respond variably to climate warming

Sneha Vissa, David N. Soderberg, Richard W. Hofstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Temperature is a key determining factor in the population dynamics of forest insects and their associated biota. Bark beetles, often considered key agents of change in forest ecosystems, are particularly affected by warming in their environment. Beetles associate with various phoretic mite species that have direct/indirect effects on beetle fitness and population dynamics, although there is limited knowledge of how temperature affects these communities. Here, we use a field reciprocal translocation experiment with the addition of a novel “warming” environment to represent future changes in local environment in two populations of a keystone bark beetle species (Dendroctonus ponderosae). We hypothesize that mite community abundances as carried by bark beetles are significantly altered when not in their native environments and when subjected to climate warming. We use multivariate generalized linear models based on species abundance data to show that mite community compositions significantly differ across different field climates; and that these patterns diverge between source populations, indicating local adaptation. Our study offers foundational information on the general effects of simulated climate-warming on the compositional shifts of common and abundant biotic associates of mountain pine beetles and may be used as a model system for other important insect–mite systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInsects
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Acari
  • Climate warming
  • Dendroctonus ponderosae
  • Field reciprocal translocation
  • Local adaptation
  • Mite communities
  • Phoresy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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