Forest ant composition, relative abundances, and foraging following aerial spraying of carbaryl to suppress Western Spruce budworm Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0c483n26v

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  • An outbreak of western spruce budworm Choristoneura occidentalis in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon in 1983 was treated with helicopter applied carbaryl. Effects of the spraying on forest ants were determined from pre- and postspray samples taken from two carbaryl sprayed and two unsprayed plots. In each 0.75-ha plot, arboreally foraging ants were sampled with sticky drop traps placed under Douglas-fir and grand fir trees. Ground foraging ants were sampled from catfood baited boards. During eight weeks of sampling, 13,225 ants from seven genera and 19 species, including seven known budworm predators, were collected. After spraying, ant species diversity decreased in the sprayed plots. Postspray foraging decreased in all plots but decreased more rapidly and to a greater extent in sprayed plots. Among ground foragers, budworm predators were the only species clearly affected by the spraying. Arboreal foragers, nearly all budworm predators, showed a significant decrease in foraging rate in sprayed plots. Some species showed no apparent effects from the spraying. Overall foraging remained depressed for at least six weeks after spraying, long enough for budworm pupation to occur. Reduced ant predation pressure on sparse budworm populations remaining after spraying may contribute to budworm resurgence.
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