Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Urban heat boosts tree pests

  • Written by  Olivia Edward
  • Published in Wildlife
Urban heat boosts tree pests Shutterstock
01 Sep
2014
Urban heat islands are causing populations of a tree pest to increase, killing red maple trees in southeastern USA, according to a new study carried out by researchers from North Carolina State University

The scientists examined trees at 26 sites in Raleigh, North Carolina, gathering data on the abundance of the gloomy scale insect, a sap-sucking parasite. ‘We wanted to look at the most important pest species of the most common tree species in urban areas of the southeastern USA,’ said one of the study’s authors, Steve Frank. As well as collecting data on a wide range of ecological variables that could affect gloomy scale populations, the researchers dissected the specimens to count their young.

The results indicated that temperature was the most important predictor of gloomy scale abundance. ‘The warmer it was, the more scale insects we found,’ said Adam Dale, who led the study. ‘At the coolest sites, the females were producing about 20 young, while at the warmest sites, the females were producing around 60. That supports the differences
we saw in scale insect abundance on the trees. Populations at the warmest sites were more than 200 times more abundant than those at the coolest sites.’

Related items

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

A look at the contribution of hippos to the savannah…

Wildlife

The new app encourages young children to connect with the…

Energy

A type of panel has been invented that can generate…

Tectonics

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle proposed that earthquakes were…

Climate

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management pledges to achieve net…

Tectonics

Earthquakes from time immemorial have attracted the attention of the…

Tectonics

A planned kayaking expedition in Nepal took on a whole…

Tectonics

Scientists from Bristol University are working in conjunction with EDF…

Tectonics

In the 1930s, Charles Richter developed a simple scale for…

Tectonics

Researchers at Colombia University have answered a question that has…

Tectonics

How prepared can any government or city be against a…

Tectonics

Benjamin Hennig creates a series of cartograms to demonstrate the…

Wildlife

Could grey seals singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star help develop…

Climate

Deep sea expert Dr Alex Rogers explains the importance of…

Oceans

Analysis of coral cores, extracted from coral reefs in the…

Wildlife

Celebrities and animal welfare groups have been expressing their disappointment…

Geophoto

In a series of photographs from his recent trip to…