Forest management and curculionid weevil diversity in mixed oak forests of southeastern Ohio
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Jeffrey A. Lombardo; Brian C. McCarthy
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • animal species diversity
  • Coleoptera
  • Conotrachelus
  • Curculio
  • Curculionidae
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • hardwood forest
  • insects
  • National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study
  • oak
  • Ohio
  • overstory
  • predators
  • Quercus
  • regeneration
  • season of fire
  • seeds
  • state forests
  • thinning
  • vegetation
  • weevil
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 7187
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23098
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-N
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) may play a role in the reduced regenerative ability of oak (Quercus L.) species in the hardwood forests of eastern North America. Presently, because of biome-wide regeneration failure, silvicultural treatments of prescribed fire and mechanical thinning are being implemented as a means to enhance natural oak regeneration. The effect that these treatments may have on the diversity and population structure of non-target organisms like weevils (oak seed predators) remains unclear. This study provides an evaluation of the weevil populations of two experimentally managed, mixed-oak forests in southeastern Ohio. Each of the two sites used in this study was divided into four 20 ha treatment plots consisting of: (1) untreated control, (2) thin only, (3) thinning followed by prescribed burning, and (4) prescribed burning only plots. Pyramid style traps (N = 48) were placed in each treatment unit to sample weevils. Overall, we identified 26 species of Curculionid weevils representing nine genera from five different tribes and two subfamilies. Weevil communities were generally dominated by a few highly abundant species and a moderate number of uncommon to rare species. Generally, treatments increased overall weevil diversity and influenced the abundance of certain rare species. However, there was no significant effect on number of weevils or on occurrence of the two major acorn infesting genera (Curculio L. and Conotrachelus Dejean). Based upon our findings, prescribed spring burning had little effect on overall weevil populations and is not likely to substantively aid in silvicultural endeavors to promote oak regeneration; however, effects on rare species need to be carefully considered.

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Link to this document (483 KB; full text; pdf)
Lombardo, Jeffrey A.; McCarthy, Brian C. 2008. Forest management and curculionid weevil diversity in mixed oak forests of southeastern Ohio. Natural Areas Journal 28(4):363-369.