Characterizing dispersal of larval gypsy moth to improve quarantine regulations
Brian Aukema, Entomology
The European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) is a major forest defoliator. To slow its spread, state and federal regulations carefully restrict the movement of wood and call for a buffer zone of 100 feet around all commercial log decks. This buffer zone is meant to lessen the chance of moth larvae crawling from nearby trees into the logs to lay eggs. However, the specific rationale behind a 100 foot buffer, scientifically, is unclear. It has only been assumed that larvae cannot clear the distance.
This project will confirm the distance gypsy moth larvae can travel under various environmental conditions, and use that information to evaluate whether the current 100 foot buffer zone guideline is sufficient for future recommendations.
- How far can gypsy moth larvae travel under normal and ideal conditions?
The results of this work will inform current regulatory guidelines for the timber industry in Minnesota.
USDA, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
Brian Aukema, principal investigator
News & Publications
- Range expansion of Lymantria dispar dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) along its north‐western margin in North America despite low predicted climatic suitability (Journal of Biogeography, 2018)