Research Projects

Applied ecology of Sirex noctilio: Optimization of detection and control methods
Researchers: A.S. Martínez, J.M. Villacide, M.V. Lantschner, A.A. Fernandez Ajó and J.C. Corley
This is an ongoing project aimed at improving our tools used to detect and control S. noctilio. We´ll study some of the mechanisms and processes that determine it´s local population dynamics, invasiveness and behavior. Firstly we´ll focus on landscape ecology, specifically we want to understand how different characteristics of the environment affect wasp local dynamics. Secondly, we will try to establish how flight behavior at an individual level and spread patterns at a population level are affected by climatic conditions. Lastly, we will investigate the chemical signals involved in the multi-trophic system wasp-tree-fungus, with emphasis on identifying those that modify wasp behavior.
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Monitoring the impact of Sirex noctilio on Ontario forests
Researchers: L.J. Haavik, J.D. Allison, and K.J. Dodds
This project assesses the impact of S. noctilio on tree and stand health in pine forests throughout Ontario, Canada. It also monitors population levels of associates (e.g. bark beetles, cerambycids, native woodwasps) and natural enemies. We conduct a fall survey, along with a spring collection of infested trees, annually to assess changes in S. noctilio impact and insect population activity from year to year at 14 sites in Ontario.
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Developing a host attractant lure and determining the optimal trap for Sirex spp. in North America
Researchers: L.J. Haavik, J.D. Allison, K.J. Dodds, J.R. Meeker, and W. Johnson
We plan to identify, synthesize, and test an effective lure/trap combination for attracting Sirex spp. We will test the efficacy of pine bag lures in attracting Sirex spp. among several pine species that grow in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. We will collect volatiles from foliage and wood chips of the same Pinus spp. and analyze them by GC-EAD and GC-MS to identify putative attractants. We will also examine the effect of intercept trap design (e.g. 12-unit modified multiple-funnel, 12-unit multiple-funnel, panel) on Sirex spp. trap captures. Using the most effective trap type, we will test the ability of synthetic sources of these putative attractants alone, and in combination with pheromones, to attract Sirex spp. in the field.
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