On-Bark Behavior of Dendroctonus frontalis: A Markov Chain Analysis

  • Authors: Bishir, J.; Roberds, James H.; Strom, Brian L.
  • Publication Year: 2004
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 17, No. 3, May 2004

Abstract

Tree-killing species of the Scolytidae (Coleoptera) must locate suitable hosts at least once per generation for successful reproduction. The process used to select hosts is complex, involving a sequence of steps and many possible outcomes. Because more beetles land on bark (host-find) than bore galleries (host-recognize), postlanding behaviors appear to be important in determining whether a potential host is selected. We applied Markov chain analysis to on-bark behaviors of the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann, that were described by previous investigators. Predictions obtained from our analysis agree well with earlier descriptions and provide additional information not heretofore apparent. By developing chains for each sex, sexually dichotomous fighting behaviors were revealed. Testable predictions were generated for outcomes of complex interactions that occurred when tree resistance and predator density were varied. Markov chain analysis also provides a framework for future host selection studies. Use of this type of analysis requires collecting data over the entire behavioral sequence of interest, with concentration on estimating the transition probabilities among states. This approach provides results for the many possible outcomes derived from a sequence of interrelated activities. We expect that such an integrated treatment will lead to a greater understanding of important facets of scolytid host selection behavior.

  • Citation: Bishir, J.; Roberds, James H.; Strom, Brian L. 2004. On-Bark Behavior of Dendroctonus frontalis: A Markov Chain Analysis. Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 17, No. 3, May 2004
  • Keywords: Scolytidae; southern pine beetle; host selection; host recognition; transition probabilities; absorbing states
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Requesting Print Publications

    Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

    Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.