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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


GARCIA-NAVARRETE, Patricia-G.; SORIA-ORTIZ, Gerardo-J.  and  GONZALEZ-SALAZAR, Constantino. Potential parasite-host interactions between Dendroctonus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) beetle and Pinus (Pinaceae) in Mexico. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2021, vol.69, n.3, pp.1004-1022. ISSN 0034-7744.


The parasite-host relationship between bark beetles of the genus Dendroctonus and species of the genus Pinus has been recognized as important threat to coniferous forests because it can cause high tree mortality and therefore a loss of forests.


We aimed to identify the potential unknown parasite-host relationships among bark beetles and pine trees species, as well as the contribution of environmental conditions as driver of these ecological interactions.


We carried out ecological niche models and ecological network analysis using the spatial datamining platform SPECIES ( Our study included seven species of bark beetles, 52 species of the genus Pinus, and 19 bioclimatic variables from Worldclim dataset.


We identified 140 potential interactions between Dendroctonus and Pinus species, of which 42 % have not been previously registered. Complex inference network analysis allowed us to characterize ecological parasite-host interactions in generalists and specialists. Regarding the ecological niche analysis, we determined potential bark beetle distributions by combining Pinus species ranges and climatic variables as predictors. We noted that climatic variables contributed negatively to Dendroctonus distribution for the most species, i.e. these abiotic variables are restrictive in almost the entire distribution of the beetles; conversely, biotic variables (i.e. Pinus species) were positive and informative on the most of species ranges.


Coexistence patterns of bark beetles and Pinus provide us information on the interactions that are able to establish among these species and that until now can be unknown. In addition, integrating biotic (hosts) and abiotic (climate) factors, allows us to obtain geographic distribution models that characterize the regions with favorable conditions for the presence of bark beetles, as well as the host species with which they could be interacting in those regions. Considering the phytosanitary risk due to bark beetles, our results provide geographic and ecological scenarios where bark beetles infestations may occur, as well as the possible emergence of new parasite-host interactions. These models can be a tool to address future fieldwork efforts to validate and complement our results.

Keywords : infestations; data mining; forest health; insects; conifers..

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