Post Hurricane Black Turpentine Beetle Damage
|Institution:||McNeese State University Lake Charles|
|Advisor(s):||Frederick LeMieux, Billy DeLany|
|Degree:||Masters of Science|
The Louisiana timber industry relies on the availability of harvestable trees. In areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the black turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus terebrans) contributed to the mortality of loblolly (Pinus taeda) and slash (Pinus elliottii) pine trees. This timber loss due to natural causes reduces the landowner’s earnings The BTB girdles the cambium layer of pines that are weakened by wind or drought. This study estimated post-Rita beetle damage on a 458-acre slash pine tract consisting of 157 trees per acre on the West Bay Wildlife Management Area, Louisiana. Timber loss was estimated by identifying, mapping, and calculating the board footage of infested trees on 40 randomly selected plots within the sampling area. There were 785 infested trees that averaged 28.3 board feet per tree. The loss totaled to 22,216 board feet with a value of $7,775. The estimated timber loss was compared to historical tree losses due to beetle infestations. Further research should be implemented to gather additional information on timber losses that resulted from the consequential infestation of the black turpentine beetle in hurricane affected timber stands.
Key Words: Black turpentine beetle, Hurricane winds, Slash Pine Timber, West Bay Wildlife Management Area, Trimble
Richard Johnson II holds a Master of Science in Environmental and Chemical Sciences, concentrating in Agriculture, from McNeese State University. He is currently employed with LSU Agcenter as an area extension agent.