- Simmons, Gary A
University of Maine
This will be the first year of a 3 to 5 year study on larval mortality in stands of varying age, composition and spatial diversity. The objective of the research is to provide silvicultural guidelines for the maximization of larval mortality.
Initially, data on stand age, height, species composition, etc. will be compared using canonical analysis and regression techniques to spruce budworm larval mortality 1) after hatching and 2) after spring emergence from hibernaculae and 3) during large larval feeding. Natural enemy losses will be measured implicitly and any relationships with stand age, height, species composition, etc. will be identified. An effort will be made to establish study plots in the same locations that the U.S. Forest Service personnel locate their silvicultural study plots. This should maximize the data gathering effort. Concurrently, a computer simulation model will be constructed to provide a conceptual framework of the process to examine the strategy through gaming.
A second year of research would, hopefully, provide an opportunity to make stand density and composition changes and follow the actual effects of those changes on larval mortality. Subsequent years of work would depend heavily on results obtained in the initial 2 years of work.