An assessment of the insect guild structure associated with immature and mature eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière, at high and low elevations was made before the invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae (Annand), and elongate hemlock scale, Fiorinia externa Ferris. Guild dynamics were determined among 243 insect species associated with eastern hemlock in the southern Appalachians. Detritivore, hematophage, herbivore, fungivore, parasitoid, predator, scavenger, and transient guild assignments were made. The herbivore and transient guilds were subdivided into chewers, sapsuckers, flower feeders, pollen feeders, pollen/nectar/sap feeders, and seed feeders. A significant association was found between guilds on immature and mature hemlocks at low elevations, but no significant association was found at high elevations. There was also a strong association of phytophagous insects on immature hemlocks and scavengers on mature hemlocks. The observed transient, scavenger, and predator guilds had a significantly lower co-occurrence among species indicating segregation of the species within these guilds. The herbivore guild had a significantly higher co-occurrence among species than the simulated index indicating aggregation of species within this guild across sites. Detritivore, hematophage, and parasitoid guilds did not differ significantly from the simulated community. These results document a diverse and dynamic insect community on eastern hemlock before invasion by hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale.
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