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Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 3561–3573 | Cite as

All quiet on the western front? Using phenological inference to detect the presence of a latent gypsy moth invasion in Northern Minnesota

  • Patrick C. Tobin
  • Kimberly Thielen Cremers
  • Lucia Hunt
  • Dylan Parry
Original Paper

Abstract

Following establishment in a new environment, invasive species expand their range through stratified diffusion, the coupling of local growth and spatial spread with long-distance movement of propagules that found new colonies. Consequently, the stages of arrival and establishment serially repeat until the entire habitat susceptible to invasion is occupied. An empirical example of such a phenomenon is the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), invasion of northeastern Minnesota. Under a regional management program, a trapping grid is deployed along the L. dispar leading edge to detect male moth presence and inform management decisions. However, the presence of moths does not always indicate reproducing populations, and moths dispersing from populations behind the front can obscure the presence of latent invasions. We analyzed trapping data during the arrival and establishment of L. dispar in this region (2000–2012), supplemented with sentinel trap data to ascertain the timing of male moth flight (2005–2009), and derived yearly phenological predictions for male moth flight. We also used a male wing morphology metric (2007–2009) to further quantify spatial and temporal patterns associated with the L. dispar invasion. We provide evidence of an established L. dispar population when analyses suggest spatial randomness in trap catch data, and how the presence of phenologically distinct, immigrating adult moths from source populations outside of Minnesota recorded from sentinel traps could lead to the overestimation of the abundance of an established population. This work highlights the complexity of the initial invasion process even in a well-studied system for which a sensitive monitoring program exists.

Keywords

Establishment Lymantria dispar Spread Stratified dispersal 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Donna Leonard, John Kyhl, Ken Klein, Laura Blackburn, and Regis Young (USDA Forest Service); Natasha Northrop, Alison Rossow, Erich Borchardt, Cree Bradley, and Bob Kangas (Minnesota Department of Agriculture); and David Nesbitt (College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York) for valuable laboratory and field support. We are very grateful to Rémi St-Amant (Canadian Forest Service) for providing phenological predictions of L. dispar. We thank Joe Elkington (University of Massachusetts) for helpful comments and suggestions. We acknowledge funds from the Gypsy Moth Slow-the-Spread Foundation, Inc. (Grant Number A106307 to PCT) and the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station (Grant Number 11-JV-11242303-053 to DP) in support of this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick C. Tobin
    • 1
  • Kimberly Thielen Cremers
    • 2
  • Lucia Hunt
    • 2
  • Dylan Parry
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Environmental and Forest SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Plant Protection DivisionMinnesota Department of AgricultureSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA

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