Ambrosia beetle habitat use, host use, and influence on early wood colonizing microbes in an oak-hickory forest
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Knowledge of how exotic ambrosia beetles influence microbe communities and how forest characteristics affect ambrosia beetle abundance will improve policy and management decision. This study aimed to characterize the ambrosia beetle community in the oak-hickory forest, determine ambrosia beetle habitat and host use, and investigate if Xylosandrus crassiusculus influences early microbe colonization of dead wood. Thirteen native and seven exotic ambrosia beetle species occurred in a central Missouri oak-hickory forest, however, the exotic component dominated the ambrosia beetle community. Stand characteristics influenced ambrosia beetle abundance but not the percent contribution of the exotic component, whereas, dead wood size influenced abundance and the percent contribution of the exotic component. Xylosandrus crassiusculus females increased the diversity and occurrence of microbes for a six month period. Ambrosia beetles likely alter microbe diversity and abundance and modifying forest characteristics by management may be a potential method to manage exotic ambrosia beetle abundance.