Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 2809–2821 | Cite as

Habitat and climatic preferences drive invasions of non-native ambrosia beetles in deciduous temperate forests

  • Davide Rassati
  • Massimo Faccoli
  • Andrea Battisti
  • Lorenzo Marini
Original Paper


The introduction of non-native ambrosia beetles can cause severe damage in forest ecosystems. Understanding the environmental drivers affecting their invasion at the local scale is of utmost importance to enhancing management strategies. Our objectives were: (1) to determine the influence of forest composition, forest structure, and climate on invasion success of non-native ambrosia beetles in deciduous temperate forests, and (2) to test the effect of host tree species on colonization success by non-native ambrosia beetles. In 2013, we sampled 25 forest stands located in North-East Italy belonging to three forest types dominated respectively by hop hornbeam, chestnut, and beech. Both ethanol-baited traps and trap-logs of five tree species (hop hornbeam, chestnut, beech, manna ash, and black locust) were used to sample non-native and native ambrosia beetle communities. We found a clear effect of forest composition on non-native species richness and activity-density, as measured in ethanol-baited traps, both of which were higher in chestnut-dominated forests. Furthermore, we found a positive effect of temperature on both the number of trapped non-native species and their activity-density, with cold temperatures limiting beetle spread in high-elevation forests. Only Xylosandrus germanus successfully colonized the trap-logs. The number of colonized logs was higher for chestnut and in chestnut-dominated forests. Both trapping and log-baiting indicated that chestnut-dominated forests were at greater risk of invasion than hop hornbeam- and beech-dominated forests. Given the economic and ecological importance of chestnut, ambrosia beetle communities present in chestnut-dominated forests should be monitored to determine where protective measures must be taken.


Alien species Colonization success Monitoring Pests Scolytinae Temperature 



The authors thank the Regional Forest Service of the Veneto Region (station of Treviso), Diego Inclán, Giovanni Tamburini, Riccardo Favaro, Marco Pilati, and Raphael Vinot for field assistance and collaboration during research. This study was partially supported by the European project Q-DETECT (Development of detection methods for quarantine plant pests for use by plant health inspection services, Grant No. 245047), by the Italian national project GEISCA (Insects and globalization: sustainable control of non-native species in agro-forest ecosystems, Grant No. 210CXXHJE) of the Italian Ministry of University and Research, and by the University of Padua (ex-60 %). We are also grateful to Robert A. Haack, Giorgio Maresi, Jon Sweeney, Myron Zalucki, and two anonymous reviewers for the valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10530_2016_1172_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (88 kb)
Fig. S1 A) Map with the location of the 25 selected forest stands and B) diagram representing how ethanol-baited trap and trap-logs were deployed at each study site. HOP: hop hornbeam-dominated forests; CHE: chestnut-dominated forests; BEE: beech-dominated forests. (JPEG 87 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Rassati
    • 1
  • Massimo Faccoli
    • 1
  • Andrea Battisti
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Marini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE)University of PadovaLegnaroItaly

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