Functional relationship between woody plants and insect communities in
response to Bursaphelenchus xylophilus infestation in the Three Gorges
To study the effect of the invasion of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus on the
functional relationship between woody plants and insect communities, the
populations of tree species and insect communities were investigative in
the Masson pine forests with different infestation durations of B.
xylophilus. In this study, the number of Pinus massoniana began to
decrease sharply, whereas the total number of other tree species in the
arboreal layer increased gradually with the infestation duration of B.
xylophilus. The principal component analysis ordination biplot shows
that there was a significant change in the spatial distribution of woody
plant species in different Masson pine forest stands. Additionally, a
total of 7,188 insect specimens was obtained. The insect population
showed an upward trend in stand types with the increase of pine wilt
disease infection periods, which demonstrated that the insect community
had been significantly affected by the invasion of B. xylophilus. The
structure of insect functional groups changed from herbivorous (He)
> omnivorous (Om) > predatory (Pr)
> parasitic (Pa) > detritivorous (De) in the
control stand to He > Pa > Om, De
> Pr after B. xylophilus infestation in the forests. The
results showed that the populations of He, Pa, and De increased after
the invasion of B. xylophilus, but the populations of Pr decreased.
Moreover, the redundancy analysis ordination bi-plots reflected the
complicated functional relationship between woody plant communities and
insects after the invasion of B. xylophilus. The present study provides
insights into the changes in the community structure of woody plants and
insects, as well as the functional relationship between woody plant
communities and insect communities after invasion of B. xylophilus.