Natalie M Schrey, Aaron W. Schrey, Edward J. Heist, John D. Reeve
Journal of Insect Science 11 (110), 1-10, (1 August 2011) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.011.11001
KEYWORDS: Dendroctonus, microsatellites, phylogeographic concordance, southern pine beetle
The southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmerman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an economically important pest species throughout the southeastern United States, Arizona, Mexico, and Central America. Previous research identified population structure among widely distant locations, yet failed to detect population structure among national forests in the state of Mississippi. This study uses microsatellite variation throughout the southeastern United States to compare the southern pine beetle's pattern of population structure to phylogeographic patterns in the region, and to provide information about dispersal. Bayesian clustering identified east and west genetic groups spanning multiple states. The east group had lower heterozygosity, possibly indicating greater habitat fragmentation or a more recent colonization. Significant genetic differentiation (θST = 0.01, p < 0.0001) followed an isolation-by-distance pattern (r = 0.39, p < 0.001) among samples, and a hierarchical AMOVA indicated slightly more differentiation occurred between multi-state groups. The observed population structure matches a previously identified phylogeographic pattern, division of groups along the Appalachian Mountain/Apalachicola River axis. Our results indicate that the species likely occurs as a large, stable metapopulation with considerable gene flow among subpopulations. Also, the relatively low magnitude of genetic differentiation among samples suggests that southern pine beetles may respond similarly to management across their range.