Short-term effects of springtime prescribed fires on adult populations of soil-emerging weevils in Central Appalachian hardwood stands
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Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-92. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 490-495
Numerous biotic and abiotic factors interact to affect oak regeneration in the central Appalachians. Fire, whitetailed deer, rodents, other vertebrate seed predators, invasive plants, insects, fungi, climate, and tree physiology contribute singularly or additively to oak regeneration problems. Moreover, fire suppression has significantly enhanced the deleterious impacts of several of these biotic influences. The relationship between fire and acorn weevils is unknown, but acorn weevils are significant contributors to regeneration problems in some oak stands and may be vulnerable to fire at certain life stages. As part of a broader investigation of fire use as a silvicultural tool, we examined prescribed fire impacts on acorn weevils (genera: Curculio and Conotrachelus) that inhibit oak (Quercus spp.) regeneration by larval consumption of embryonic or newly dropped acorns. We prescribe burned two stands on the Fernow Experimental Forest in north-central West Virginia: One was burned April, 2002, and the other April, 2003. We placed soil emergence traps under oak and other tree species on five plots within each burn treatment and four adjacent unburned plots. Arthropod samples were collected April to October in 2003 and 2004. We collected 233 weevils representing 11 species from 9 genera. Curculio and Cyrtepistomus species predominated; Conotrachelus species were notable. Our preliminary data indicates that acorn weevil emergence may not be reduced following a single spring fire. Herein, we describe the pattern and intensity of acorn weevil emergence during the first 2 years of our study.
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McCann, David P.; McGill, David W.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Ford, W. Mark. 2006. Short-term effects of springtime prescribed fires on adult populations of soil-emerging weevils in Central Appalachian hardwood stands. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-92. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 490-495