Dr. Kathy Bleiker describes how mountain pine beetle (MPB) varies in new habitat (e.g. multiple cohorts). In particular, she focuses on female beetles with multiple broods or egg laying at different times during the spring-summer season. MPB does not have an obligate diapause (a period of dormancy to regulate development to environmental conditions); its development cycle is solely temperature driven. So MPB has more complex life cycles in new habitats and climate zones. How does that affect population success? 1700 foot is the elevation where MPB switches to a multiple year life cycle.
Dr. Bleiker summarizes her research sites in B.C. and the Grande Prairie region. Degree days (temperature and heat accumulation) are higher in Alberta; she draws relationships from temperature and degree day data to the stage of life cycle the MPB enter winter. Winter temperatures are still an important factor but winter survival can vary significantly within a region. The story on lifecycle and winter survival of MPB in Alberta is more complex than initially thought.
Dr. Kathy Bleiker is a Research Scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, specifically at the Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, B.C. Her presentation was part of the Foothills Research Institute's Mountain Pine Beetle Research-Practitioner Information Exchange Forum, April 24-25, 2013 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.