mountain pine beetle photo by ron long

The Physiological Costs and Consequences of Overwintering in Mountain Pine Beetle

Overwinter mortality is the single greatest source of mortality for MPB; however, it is not just a function of whether larvae live or die but also if non-lethal damage is incurred that negatively impacts dispersal and reproductive capacity. Laboratory experiments will quantify the effect of temperature on energy stress and tissue damage on MPB fitness. This project will provide critical information on the effect of climate on MPB overwintering biology that will inform eastern spread risk assessments.


  1. Determine the impacts of winter temperatures on MPB metabolism and energy status. Test the hypothesis that MPB suffer from energy stress during warm periods in the winter.
  2. Characterize whether/how chilling affects MPB ionoregulation, tissue damage and survival. Test the hypothesis that MPB suffer from non-freezing tissue damage as a result of ionoregulatory collapse in the winter.
measuring stake in snow
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
This 2-page briefing note introduces a project that will elucidate the effects of temperatures on MPB metabolism, ion balance, tissue […]
Dr. Heath MacMillan
Dr. Catherine Cullingham
Dr. Maya Evenden
Dr. Mads Anderson