The mountain pine beetle (MPB) is destroying pine forests throughout North America. Not only do they kill trees by boring under bark, they spread pathogens from tree to tree. Because of this, although the beetle hasn’t been found yet in Minnesota, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) has given research into the pest top priority.
MSI PI Brian Aukema (associate professor, Entomology ) is leading the effort to understand what might happen if the MPB arrives in Minnesota. An article about this research appears on the MITPPC website: MITPPC-funded Researchers are Preparing for the Impending Arrival of a Top Threat to Minnesota’s Trees.
Professor Aukema uses MSI resources for computer simulations that are used to try to predict the future of ash trees in North America based on data and population dynamics of the emerald ash borer.