Little research has been conducted to investigate interactions between the invasive Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and pine bark beetles native to the southeastern United States. Facilitative interactions between these organisms could alter stand dynamics and impact wood utilization strategies. American Wood Protection Association Standard El-09 choice tests were carried out to determine the feeding preference of Formosan subterranean termites for blue-stained versus unstained southern yellow pine sapwood. Three separate colonies of Formosan subterranean termites consumed on average twice as much air-dried blue-stained southern yellow pine sapwood over unstained air-dried controls. Additionally, Formosan subterranean termites consumed over five-times more kiln-dried blue-stained sapwood than unstained kiln-dried control wafers. The implications of these results are particularly relevant to pine forest ecology, nutrient cycling, and the utilization of blue-stained southern pine building products in the southeastern United States, where Formosan subterranean termites have become established.
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Vol. 105 • No. 5