Date of Degree
Dissertation - Open Access
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology
Several native species of Lauraceae (e.g. sassafras) in the southeastern United States are being eradicated by laurel wilt disease. Laurel wilt is caused by a highly invasive and cryptic ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, and its fungal symbiont. The symbiont pathogen is spread during colonization of native Lauraceae. Xyleborus glabratus and the pathogen are remarkably effective at colonizing and killing healthy populations of Lauraceae in a brief time period. Control methods have been unable to slow the spread of laurel wilt disease and X. glabratus populations have been spreading into northern latitudes. Presently, cold temperatures may be the only factor limiting establishment of the beetle in interior populations of sassafras. Empirically derived physiological data from this study were combined with climatic, microhabitat, and host data to model the invasive potential/hazard rate of X. glabratus and laurel wilt in sassafras forests of the United States. Sharing this model data will help land managers, forest health specialists, urban foresters, and landowners make informed proactive management decisions regarding laurel wilt disease.
Formby, John, "Invasion Potential and Overwintering Biology of the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the United States" (2016). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 2794.