Climate Explodes Larch Beetle Numbers, Transforming Minnesota Forests

"Eastern larch beetles, tiny burrowing bugs native to Minnesota, are exploding in number across the state’s northern forest and have killed or damaged about a third of the state’s tamarack trees — one of the first clear signs of a rapidly changing climate.

With earlier springs and warmer winters, there’s nothing to stop the bug’s relentless march across Minnesota, leaving state foresters helpless in the face of an onslaught that seems destined to eradicate the graceful deciduous pine admired for its striking deep gold color in the fall.

'It’s a fantastic example of climate change in action,' said Brian Aukema, a University of Minnesota professor who studies larch beetles and other forest insects. 'That insect is telling us that tamarack no longer belongs here.'"

Josephine Marcotty reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune August 13, 2017.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 08/15/2017