Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Entomology and Plant Pathology

Major Professor

Paris Lambdin

Committee Members

Jerome Grant, John Skinner


Oak forests dominate the forested landscape of Tennessee. These forests are vital to the economic and environmental health of the state. Northern red oak (NRO) trees, Quercus rubra L., are crucial components of these forests. Information regarding the status of coleopteran diversity associated with NRO is scattered and fragmented within the literature. Because of this, the insect fauna on NRO was assessed at three sites (Bee Tree Ridge, Mount Sterling, and Rich Mountain) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM), and at one site at The University of Tennessee Arboretum (UT arboretum) by using the fogging method. These four sites represent elevational gradients ranging from 262-1,377 m. The canopy of one randomly selected tree per site was sampled monthly using a Dyna-Fog Golden Eagle fogger. Specimens (11,167) were collected, processed, and identified for the sampling periods. Identification efforts were focused on the 2,270 specimens of Coleoptera collected. Species diversity of coleopterans collected at the GRSM was assessed using the Shannon-Weiner and Berger-Parker diversity indices.

Two hundred, three species of beetles representing 45 families were identified from the GRSM and represent a rich assemblage of beetle fauna. The highest number of specimens (713) and species (124) were located at the lowest GRSM elevation site (841 m). However, Shannon-Weiner diversity values were highest (3.70) at the highest elevation site and lowest (3.04) at the low elevation site. Eleven beetle pest species of NRO, represented by 403 (27.36%) specimens, were collected from GRSM. Specimens of the Asiatic oak weevil, Cyrtepisomus castaneus (Roelofs), were found at all sites and comprised 18.68% of the total beetles collected. Sixty-four species of Coleoptera not previously recorded in the GRSM were identified and represent a 5.5% increase to the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory database. Eighty-seven species of Coleoptera were collected from the UT arboretum (262 m). AOW was the most commonly collected species at the UT arboretum with 84 specimens. Fifty-five of coleopteran species from the UT arboretum were not recorded in the GRSM collection.

These data and findings are significant in that they are the first recorded listing of insect fauna on large (over 20 m tall) NRO in eastern Tennessee. Results of this study will assist in developing management strategies in northern red oak-dominated forests to enhance Tennessee forests. In addition, due to the threat of invasive species activity, this study provides an important baseline of the arthropod faunal composition found on mature NRO before disturbances alter species composition.

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Included in

Entomology Commons