A risk assessment of the potential impact of Mountain Pine Beetle in China

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University of New Brunswick


Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a species of bark beetle native to western North America that has caused significant financial losses for the forest industry in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. In 2002, Mountain Pine Beetle was first recorded in China, and, as a non-native species, managers were concerned about the potential impact of this species on various softwood tree species. This report reviews the management of invasive species in general, and then specific management practices used against Mountain Pine Beetle outbreaks in North America. This report then applies the knowledge gained from managing this species in North America to a risk assessment for the species in China. By evaluating its geographical distribution, as well as the probability of introduction, the species’ adaptability, persistence after colonization, and the consequences of introduction, it is concluded that the invasive risk of Mountain Pine Beetle in China is high. To reduce the risk of future beetle outbreak events in China, there will need to be effective monitoring, direct control at the incipient stage, and forest iii modification to increase tree species and age class diversity. Chemical tools plus regeneration and salvage strategies need to be ready in case of the beetle outbreak. Key words: Mountain Pine Beetle, invasive species, invasion, outbreak, management.