The efficacy of verbenone as a stand-level protectant against mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, attacks was tested in lodgepole and whitebark pine stands at five geographically separated sites, including three consecutive years at one site. Forty and 20 high-dose pouches, with a verbenone emission rate up to 50 mg/d per pouch, were spaced in a grid pattern throughout 0.40-ha plots, replicated up to six times at each site. Although the verbenone treatment did not prevent beetles from dispersing through treated stands, attacking large-diameter trees most frequently, the overall number of trees attacked was, on average, reduced significantly compared with nontreated stands. In a few blocks each year, verbenone-treated plots had more attacked trees than controls. These blocks tended to have a large emerging beetle population, exceeding 140 previously attacked trees within the hectare including and surrounding the treated area. Additional research is needed on the behavioral role of verbenone in mountain pine beetle population dynamics and quantification of the infestation level above which treatment efficacy tends to be reduced.
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Vol. 98 • No. 5