Attraction of the twolined chestnut borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) to scarlet oaks infected with chestnut blight fungus

James P. Dunn, Daniel A. Potter, Thomas W. Kimmerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria (Endothia) parasitica, causes bark and wood deformity to the lower bole of scarlet oak, Quercus coccinea L., but does not kill the tree. We tested the hypothesis that C. Parasitica infection stresses the tree and predisposes it to attack by the twolined chestnut borer, Agrilus bilineatus (Weber). Scarlet oaks with obvious disease symptoms attracted significantly more A. Bilineatus, cerambycids, and scolytids than did apparently healthy trees. However, only 9 of 21 diseased trees were successfully colonized. Total nitrogen and tannin concentrations of the phloem did not differ significantly between diseased and control trees; however, phenolic concentrations were significantly higher in the phloem of diseased trees that were colonized by borers. Total carbohydrate concentrations of xylem and phloem in July did not differ significantly between diseased and control trees, even in those diseased trees that were colonized. However, starch concentrations of the outer sapwood were slightly lower in all diseased trees. This tree decline complex is unusual in that the apparent predisposing stress, C. Parasitica, did not reduce radial growth or total carbohydrates, which are generally regarded as indicators of tree vigor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank M. Buxton and L. S. Poneleit for technical assistance and L. Shain (Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky, Lexington) for pointing out the relationship between scarlet oak butt swell and Cryphonectria parasitica infection. We also thank G. L. Nordin, L. Shain, and K. V. Yeargan for critically reviewing an earlier draft of the manuscript. This research was funded in part by USDA Pest Science Grant 85-CRCR-1-1614. This article (88-7-8-289) is in connection with a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with approval of the Director.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1990 Entomological Society of America.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Agrilus bilineatus
  • Cryphonectria (Endothia) parasitica
  • Insecta
  • Tree stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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