Dynamics of rising spruce budworm populations


The eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), is the dominant agent of insect disturbance in the forests of eastern Canada. In the light of the current outbreak in Quebec, a team of CFS scientists is investigating the ecological factors that favour the onset of outbreaks and where in the population cycle intervention strategies can bring rising populations back down to endemic levels. We are evaluating survival and reproduction by measuring parasitism, disease, mating success and moth migration before and after application of pest management strategies.

Understand the fundamental dynamics of budworm outbreaks in terms of interactions with the environment, forest mosaics (moth dispersal), stand structure (composition, volume, density), host trees (species, age, condition), and natural enemies (predators, parasitoids and diseases). Focus is on eastern spruce budworm (especially conditions leading to new outbreaks), western spruce budworm and jack-pine budworm, in a comparative ecology context.


Understanding the dynamics of spruce budworm populations: Relationships between stand structure and population performance. Relate demographic data collected in the context of field population studies with elements of stand structure (species composition and other stand characteristics).