Forest lives are changing, with combined human/insect threats.

Forest lives are changing, with combined human/insect threats.

Forest lives are changing, with combined human/insect threats.

Forest lives are changing, with combined human/insect threats.

Trees provide us with so much! Not only do they give us clean air to breathe and provide a cooling effect (shade), trees/forests also serve as homes for many species!

Unfortunately, primary forest is almost gone, as far as most regions are concerned, with logging, palm oil plantations, and even open-cast mining and roads destroying the few remaining old trees in any area. Native beetles, never mind alien moth, bug and wasp species, are very active on the forest destruction front in some areas.

North America presents a particularly fraught area for certain native beetles such as the bark beetle genus, Dendroctonus. These guys have been eliminating great forests from Alaska to Mexico and beyond for many years. Some species specialize in bringing down spruce forests while up to 20 pine tree species are more to the taste of the southern pine beetle, which has caused $900 million worth of damage of a 30 year period. One great factor involved is the ubiquitous effect of global warming. Insect metabolism is reliant on external temperature, so their activity is growing with every degree rise in air temperature.

Around the world, from Asian, African or South American rainforest, the tactics are generally similar. The Congos swamps and forest are very important for carbon retention and amazing wildlife, while the American Atlantic and Amazon rainforests are also shaming us as they completely disappear. Also in line are those beautiful ancient forests that contain more exciting animals and plants in Asia.

With changing conditions annually, the practical scientific theory such as the insect metabolism change is first to be considered. It means that even their predators have less time to eat them up! Biosecurity at ports is all-important and monitoring of all pests within the forest is vital too.

Some responses to potential pests have also been disastrous, which is where colleges and universities need to spread these experiences. As everywhere the word, Outcomes becomes a keyword to prevent repeats these mistaken remedies.

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