Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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104 Landscape Architect and Specifier News I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 4 4 The Trees Are Alive with the Sound of Insects Above: Tree die-offs in forests ranging from New Mexico to this one in British Columbia have been attributed in part to the spread of bark beetles, an insect that feeds and breeds between the bark and the wood of various tree species. CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, MARK A. WILSON, PUBLIC DOMAIN Following a decade of research on bark beetles, a U.C. Santa Cruz music professor and two Northern Arizona University forest scientists have patented a device that uses sound to disrupt the essential behaviors of the insect (feeding, communication, and reproduction). Bark beetles have contributed to massive tree die-offs in the West. Aggressive populations can invade and kill healthy trees. The trio created a device that uses the sounds of the beetles themselves combined with electronically generated sounds produced by circuitry. While sound has been used in pest control before, usually the pests get used to the noise and return to the area. With this new device, there is no repetition of sounds, removing the possibility of the beetles getting used to it. The next obstacle in actually using the device is miniaturizing it – which Dunn is working with one of his graduate students to achieve. They hope to utilize FM broadcast and amplifiers attached to trees to spread the noise through affected forests. Learn more and listen to some of the beetle-disrupting soundtrack at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0X9rhHH2Zg . Chemical Messages Protect Plants, Say Researchers Left: Goldenrods are found in open meadows and prairies across North America, with some species native to Europe and South America. The larva of several species of beetles feed on goldenrods. A duo of researchers from Cornell University found that when certain plants, including goldenrods, are attacked by pests, they emit chemical signals to both ward them off and to warn neighboring plants. The researchers observed that beetle larvae prefer undamaged plants to plants that emitted the chemical signal, whether they were damaged or not. In addition, exposure to the volatile organic compounds emitted by the damaged plants is all it takes for neighboring plants to send out the same signal. The National Science Foundation and the Biogeochemistry and Environmental Biocomplexity Graduate Group at Cornell University funded the study.

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