Angiosperm bark volatiles disrupt response of Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsugae, to attractant-baited traps

D P Huber, J H Borden
Journal of Chemical Ecology 2001, 27 (2): 217-33
Antennally active, bark-derived, angiosperm volatiles were tested singly and in groups for their ability to disrupt the response of the Douglas-fir beetle (DFB), Dendroctonus pseudotsugae, to attractant-baited multiple-funnel traps. One compound, conophthorin, was active alone in reducing the response of beetles to the baited traps. Further experiments showed disruptive activity in two aliphatic green-leaf alcohols [1-hexanol and (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol], as well as guaiacol and benzyl alcohol, and three aliphatic aldehydes [nonanal, hexanal, and (E)-2-hexenal] but not in two aromatic aldehydes (benzaldehyde and salicylaldehyde). Every binary combination that included conophthorin or any two of the other groups, except aromatic aldehydes, significantly reduced the response of beetles to baited traps. Various ternary mixtures and the complete mixture of all the groups were generally the most effective treatments. These results provide evidence that DFBs recognize and avoid nonhosts while flying rather than landing on candidate hosts and testing them while in contact with the tree. Nonhost angiosperm bark volatiles may have practical utility on their own or in combination with the antiaggregation pheromone 3-methylcyclohex-3-en-1-one (MCH) to protect single trees, logs, or stands from attack by the DFB.

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