The United States has a rich fauna of native Siricidae (wood wasps), but they are rarely studied because they have limited economic impact. In 2004, a non-native wood-boring pest, Sirex noctilio F., was found established in North America. Because S. noctilio is an economically important pest in pine plantations throughout the Southern Hemisphere, interest in the ecology of American native wood wasp populations has increased. A study was conducted during fall 2011 to investigate the effects of forest stand type and characteristics on native wood wasp abundance, and to describe their flight phenology in northeastern Mississippi. In total, 609 native wood wasps were captured, consisting of 608 Sirex nigricornis F. and one Urocerus cressoni Norton. There were significant treatment and location effects that influenced wood wasp abundance. The flight period of wood wasps captured in our study (October–December) was similar to studies in the southeastern United States, but differed from results in Minnesota and the northeastern United States (June–October).Woodwasp abundance was significantly correlated with higher basal area, smaller tree diameter at breast height, and shorter trees, all indicators of forest stand stress. It appears proper silvicultural management of pine plantations may reduce native wood wasp population abundance in the southeastern United States, as it does to S. noctilio in the Southern Hemisphere. We propose implementing management models used for the southern pine beetle to reduce stand hazard of future infestations of native and invasive wood wasps.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3