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SPRUCE BEETLES

Issue #

Spruce
Beetles

August 2013
HERE YOU WILL FIND INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE ALASKAN SPRUCE BARK BEETLE IN THIS ISSUE

The Introduction
By Guy Nelson

Hey there friend! if your one of those people who just are interested in bugs and would like to know more about them or youre just interested in reading my beautiful newsletter, then this might be the reading for you.

Why its important?


The spruce bark beetle has been known to tear down and infest Spruce trees all across the state in our forests. If more outbreaks ever occur, we might lose trees that are in our national parks such as Denali. The trees also serve as homes for animals.

The Beetle
The Spruce Beetle gets as big as 1/2 inch. Its main diet is the cambium of Spruce trees. Its average life cycle is as long as 2 years. They are experts at flying.

What to expect.
Here you will find all you need to know about the Spruce Bark Beetle, an interesting but yet ugly creature. Here you will learn facts such as where you can find one, what it looks like, and its contribution to the ecosystem.

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Are they all Bad?


Some of us think that the spruce beetle is all bad because they kill our trees and they bite people. But they arent all bad. If youre curious to find out then stay tuned.

Its contributions and impacts


Spruce Beetles have been known to infesting acres of forest. What they do is burrow into a spruce tree and eat it, eventually killing it. Leaving a forest of dead trees. The trees are used for photosynthesis and sere as great homes for wildlife.

FUN FACT!
A large, downed Spruce Tree may contain up to 100 beetles per square foot of bark. Gross.

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SPRUCE BEETLES | Issue #


Beetles use chemicals called pheromones to communicate with other beetles. Which can help them locate a possible host.

The Beetle
By Guy Nelson

The Spruce Beetle is an interesting insect. Words I could use to describe it are ugly, painful, deadly, and parasitic. Not a very friendly creature but its how they live. Below are some details about the Spruce Beetle The Spruce Beetles diet consists of the cambium (kam-bee-um) of spruce trees, the living layer of tissue under the trees bark. Spruce Beetles can get to as big as inch. They lay their eggs by burrowing themselves into the bark of spruce trees. They make a network of tunnels where they can lay their eggs One female spruce beetle can lay 10 to 150 eggs in a spruce tree

HISTORY

Black Spruce Bark Beetle. The bigger bunch of the Spruce Beetles. Recognizable for their large antennaes and unattractive look.

The Spruce Bark Beetle has been known to infest certain areas and take down dense populations of spruce trees. For example, in the 90s, the population skyrocketed and had infested about 1.3 million acres of trees in Alaska. We had lost a lot of trees. A similar thing happened in the Kenai Peninsula.

the spruce bark beetles do. Well I will start off by saying that they eat our spruces. They dont do it because they are mean, its just the way they survive. And we cant just kill them, theyre a good food source to woodpeckers. What one thing that could occur when the

THIS IS WHAT ALASKA LOOKS LIKE NOW. ALL BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF LIFE. DO YOU WANT TO POSSIBLY LOSE THIS BEATIFUL SIGHT TO SEE?
beetle outbreaks kill trees is more Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. If you look at it this way, trees produce oxygen through a process called photosynthesis, and that requires carbon dioxide. When theres not that many trees to produce more oxygen, CO2 emissions rise. A little CO2 is okay because the trees need it, but when the levels start to rise, thats when we go on alert. One reason is because of the theory we call global warming. Thats when

Ok, a question that I get a lot is why people should care about what

SPRUCE BEETLES | Issue #

Ocean Acidification

Whats the risk?


By Guy Nelson

Example of ocean acidification. If you want to know more about ocean acidification, then see page 4.

CO2 levels get dangerously high that the earth acts like a greenhouse, causing earth to get warmer. Which could possibly melt the icecaps and sea levels might rise. Another thing that could occur with higher beetle populations and lees trees could be ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is when CO2 is absorbed into the ocean. A little chemistry is involved but it makes the ocean more acidic. Acidic oceans could have an effect on shellfish, restricting them from growing a shell.

WHATS HAPPENING ON EARTH

The Spruce Forest


Big spruce forests where it might be warmer is where youre most likely to encounter a spruce beetle. Look at how beautiful it its. Now picture it with rotten wood and dead fallen trees instead of strong, green, healthy trees.

So we cant kill all the beetles but we sure can keep the population from skyrocketing and killing off trees and raising CO2 levels, which can cause global warming.

Global Warming
High CO2 emissions can cause global warming. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps the heat in our atmosphere, which causes the earth to get warmer, which can melt our icecaps. Melted icecaps could mean Florida will be flooded completely, polar bears will have nowhere to breed their cubs, resulting in extinction.

SPRUCE BEETLES | Issue #

In Conclusion
In some places people dont know what the spruce bark beetle is doing to our national forests. Of course some know that they chew up and kill our spruces and they think that thats no big deal. To me it is a big deal and how that effects the earth as a whole. Unhealthy forests, global warming, high carbon dioxide levels, those are what the spruce beetles can cause. I want to go outside and see lots of beautiful spruce trees, not rotting, dead ones. So I guess thats why I care and why you should to.

Spruce
Beetles

Chemistry lesson
For you people who are interested in finding out more about ocean acidification, at least the chemical part. So to start off when CO2 is released into the air, it can dissolve into the water which would make carbonic acid. So CO2+H2O=H2CO3 would be the formula. And from there the carbonic acid then dissociates to form bicarbonate ions or known as HCO-3. And the higher consumption of carbonate ions impedes calcification. The shellfish need calcium in order to make their shells and when calcification is impeded it makes it harder for that to happen. So thats the chemistry behind ocean acidification. And once again, thank you for reading.

Anchorage, AK