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Posted Mon Apr 4 2011: from Edmonton Journal:
Mountain pine beetles could infect forests across Canada
Mountain pine beetles have successfully made the species jump from lodgepole pine to jack pine, increasing concerns that the pest could infect forests from British Columbia to the East coast, according to a University of Alberta-led research team. The group of U of A tree biologists and geneticists discovered that, as the mountain pine beetle spread eastward from central B.C., it successfully jumped species from its main host, the lodgepole pine, to the jack pine. Jack pine is the dominant pine species in Canada's boreal forest, which stretches east from Alberta all the way to the Maritime provinces.... "Mountain pine beetle is not (native) to the boreal forest and therefore should be considered an invasive species and managed as such. Forest ecosystems in North America have already been challenged with numerous pest invasions that represent a considerable threat. When we factor in climate change, the vulnerability of ecosystems such as the boreal forest to disturbance is further increased putting an extremely important ecosystem in jeopardy."
[Read more stories about: invasive species, forests, massive die-off, global warming]
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