Population size estimation for the Warren root collar weevil, Hylobius warreni Wood (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a pest of regenerating lodgepole pine plantations
The Warren root collar weevil, Hylobius warreni Wood (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an endemic pest species of conifers, particularly lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) (Pinaceae), in British Columbia. Larvae feed on the roots and root collars of young trees, resulting in girdling damage and mortality or growth reductions. Population sizes of adult H. warreni have historically been difficult to assess due to a lack of operational sampling methods or chemical attractants for the species. Therefore, most previous population estimates have relied on indirect or incomplete measures of damage by immature individuals. In this study, we tested the Björklund funnel trap to assess its efficacy as a method to estimate H. warreni populations. Funnel traps were placed on all 182 trees in half of a small (~1 ha) lodgepole pine stand over four days and remained in place for 13 days after the last traps were installed. Adult weevils were captured, marked, and released on the bole of the tree on which they had been caught. It is likely that most of the adult weevils in the plot, which was isolated from any nearby lodgepole pine stands, were caught at least once and many were caught multiple times. Population sizes were estimated using both the Schnabel method and the Schumacher and Eschmeyer method, resulting in population estimates of 1.83-2.19 weevils/tree and 731-875 weevils/ha. These measures are within the range of population sizes estimated by previous studies. The results suggest the Björklund funnel trap may be an effective operational tool for population monitoring for this species and may also be an effective tactic in population reduction strategies.
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