Aberystwyth University - Bringing beetles to the party

July 10, 2008

Predicting the spread of the mountain pine beetle, currently devastating the lodgepole pine forests of British Columbia, is like watching party guests, according to an ecology expert. Javier Gamarra, a lecturer in environmental systems at Aberystwyth University, has developed a mathematical model to predict the location and extent of future damage. He said that the beetles' spread was determined by winter temperatures, analogous to guests arriving at a party, with "a warm, popular guy" attracting a growing entourage compared with "a shy, cold and lonely soul ending up in a corner".

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