Navigation Links
Tree resin the key evidence of current and historic insect invasions
Date:3/22/2011

A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered that insects that bore into trees as long ago 90 million years, or as recently as last summer, leave a calling card that's rich with information.

The information is contained in the resin found within trees and on their bark. Resin is produced in large quantities by a tree when it's under attack by insects.

Normally, to assess if a tree is under an attack from boring insects researchers have sometimes had to rip patches of bark from healthy trees. But now forestry workers looking for the telltale sign of insect borings in tree trunks have a far less invasive methodthey can just examine the resin that collects in clumps on the tree trunk.

An attack by boring beetles typically affects trees in two ways. The boring action damages the phloem layer just under the bark, which cuts off the passage of nutrients within the trunk. Also, beetles often introduce a fungus that spreads into the woody xylem tissue of the tree and starves the treetop of water. A side-effect of insect invasion and water stress is a reduction in the tree's ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is necessary for life-sustaining photosynthesis.

The research team, including U of A paleontology graduate student Ryan McKellar, looked for subatomic-sized isotopic evidence that indicates water stress levels in trees as a result of an insect attack.

The team discovered a common marker in carbon isotopes found in the resin of living trees under insect attack and in the fossilized resin or amber produced by ancient trees going as far back as the age of dinosaurs: they both contain elevated levels of carbon-13.

McKellar's group also found evidence of boring beetles and the increased presence of carbon-13 within amber fossils dating back in the geological record to 90 million and 17 million years ago. The locations are as geographically removed as present-day New Jersey and the Dominican Republic.

With this finding the researchers suggest that two or the world's major amber deposits may have been produced by insect attacks like mountain pine beetle that are seen in modern ecosystems.

This discovery will help researchers understand the history of insect infestations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Murphy
brian.murphy@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Further research needed to develop evidence-based nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors
2. Jefferson researchers provide genetic evidence that antioxidants can help treat cancer
3. Scientists question indicator of fisheries health, evidence for fishing down food webs
4. More evidence that melanoma does not conform to the cancer stem cell model
5. Evidence is weak for tropical rainforest 65 million years ago in Africas low-latitudes
6. New evidence that fat cells are not just dormant storage depots for calories
7. Oldest evidence of dinosaurs found in Polish footprints
8. Researchers find first genetic evidence for loss of teeth in the common ancestor of baleen whales
9. Marine animals suggest evidence for a trans-Antarctic seaway
10. Animal bone markings show evidence that Lucy species used stone tools, ate meat
11. Scientists discover oldest evidence of human stone tool use and meat-eating
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the ... Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... growth in each of the following categories: net square feet ... of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service (SaaS) ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication between ... Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face virtual ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled ... cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous ... (CTCs). The new test has already been incorporated ... multiple cancer types. Over 230 clinical ... response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research ... Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the ... tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: