Winter starch reserves of white oak as a predictor of attack by the twolined chestnut borer, Agrilus bilineatus (Weber) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

J. P. Dunn, T. W. Kimmerer, D. A. Potter

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36 Scopus citations


The twolined chestnut borer, Agrilus bilineatus (Weber) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), attacks oaks (Quercus spp.) and is associated with extensive mortality of trees in the eastern deciduous forests of North America. We tested the hypothesis that winter starch reserves of oak roots are an indicator of tree vigor and that only trees low in stored starch would be attacked by A. bilineatus. We measured the levels of stored starch in the roots of 200 non-infested healthy white oaks during the dormant season and determined their correlation with A. bilineatus attacks the following spring. There was a significant increase in A. bilineatus captures on sticky traps with a decrease in winter starch reserves. Trees low in stored starch that were also stressed by phloem-girdling attracted 3.7 times as many beetles as did non-girdled trees that were low in starch. However, non-girdled trees that had low winter starch reserves were also attacked. Only oaks that had had extremely low winter root starch reserves (<5mg/g dry weight of root sapwood tissue) were heavily attacked by A. bilineatus and subsequently died. One third of non-girdled low starch trees and 67% of phloem-girdled low starch trees died, whereas none of the trees with root starch >5 mg/g dry wt died. These results indicate that winter starch reserves are a good predictor of A. bilineatus attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-355
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1987

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Carbohydrate reserves
  • Oak mortality
  • Phloem borers
  • Tree physiology
  • Tree stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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