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New book puts focus on bark beetles and climate change

As our climate changes, so do insect pests that affect our trees and forests. Now, a new book co-edited by a University of Georgia faculty member offers insights for land managers and policymakers as they grapple with this growing threat.

“Bark Beetle Management, Ecology, and Climate Change” is the first book to address the effects of global warming on bark beetles, which have a tremendous effect on forests across the country. Co-edited by Kamal Gandhi of the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Richard Hofstetter of the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University with chapters by national and international scientists, the book synthesizes information on how forest disturbances and environmental changes due to climate change affect the ecology and management of bark beetles.

The book covers topics such as changes in bark beetle distributions, new hosts on the landscape due to climate change, interactions with other insects, the effects of ecosystem-level outbreaks and management of bark beetles in altered forests and climate conditions. It also provides gaps in current knowledge and a road map for future studies on bark beetles.

“The issues surrounding bark beetles are multi-faceted, complex, and require a range of comprehensive approaches,” said Gandhi, a professor of forest entomology who also directs the Southern Pine Health Research Cooperative. “We hope this book will be an important resource for forest entomologists, as well as forest health specialists, foresters, policymakers and conservationists who want to understand the impacts of these insects at the organismal, population and community levels.”

The book, which highlights a number of research papers delving into management, modeling, outbreaks and connections to extreme weather events, also features a number of case studies that underline the effects bark beetles have on forests around the world. The book is available online through elsevier.com.

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