Detecting invasive species: the case of the wood-boring beetle

wood boring beetle

Invasive species are mostly likely to invade an area through a port. We need a better understanding of the factors affecting their arrival and establishment if we are to detect them. Davide Rassati and colleagues from the university of of Padua in Legnaro, Italy, looked at how the port size and surrounding landscape (i.e. forests) influenced the occurrence of the wood-boring beetle, Cordylomera spinicornis.

At 15 Italian international ports, the surrounding forests and ports themselves were monitored using multi-funnel traps with bait. Both alien and native bark beetles (subfamily Scolytinae), longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae) and jewel beetles (family Buprestidae) were found. Overall 14 alien species were found, 4 of which are new to Italy.

Alien species richness was positively correlated with imported commodities. However total forest cover near ports was positively correlated with the occurrence of native but not alien species. The alien and native species richness was higher in surrounding forests than the ports themselves.

Early detection of the invasive wood-boring beetles can be improved by identifying sites where the arrival and establishment of aliens is more probable, combined with an efficient trapping protocol. Ways to detect these insects include pheromone traps and encounter rate models (forecasts).

Byers, J. A., & Naranjo, S. E. (2014). Detection and monitoring of pink bollworm moths and invasive insects using pheromone traps and encounter rate models. Journal of Applied Ecology.
Rassati, D., Faccoli, M., Toffolo, E. P., Battisti, A., & Marini, L. (2014). Improving the early detection of alien wood‐boring beetles in ports and surrounding forests. Journal of Applied Ecology.

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