Friday, May 27, 2016
Good Guys or Bad Guys?
One of the little critters I inevitably find in our wood piles are Bark Beetles. Bark Beetles provide an important role in our forests. They attack diseased and dying trees and eat the phloem and cambium layers of the tree. They also bore through the bark into these same layers to lay their eggs and allow their larvae to feed, grow up and hatch out. This allows fungus into the tree and it weakens it and many times the tree will start to die. Weakened trees give woodpeckers a a smorgasborg of places to eat larvae. With the softer wood they can bore out nest cavities for themselves and other birds. Bears and other creatures can benefit from eating the larvae as well. As you can see bark beetles provide a great benefit to the forest as food and by helping to break down the wood for other creatures. Eventually the trees will rot and turn into forest duff for other plants to grown and nurture in. There can be too much of a good thing however. Drought ridden and improperly managed forests can lead to a population explosion of Bark Beetles leading them to attack healthy trees as well as the weakened ones. There are huge swaths of trees being decimated by Bark Beetles in parts of North America. I'm unsure of the answer to that one but it is a huge problem in some of our forests. On that note I hope that you are having a beautiful day. God bless, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. Camera was set to Manual mode, ISO 200, Shutter speed of 1/200th of a sec. F stops varied. Light source used were two Alien Bee 1600 studio flashes.