The structure and phenology of non-native scolytine beetle communities in coffee plantations on Kaua'i.
Populations and communities are known to respond to abiotic conditions, but the forces determining the distribution of particular insect pests are sometimes overlooked in the process of developing control methods. Bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) are important pests of crops, forestry, and ecosystems worldwide, yet the factors that influence their success are unknown for many species. The Hawaiian archipelago is host to over three dozen invasive scolytines, many of which occur on Kaua'i and are pests of agriculture. We analyzed scolytine community dynamics at two coffee estates: a hand-harvested site in a tropical wet forest and a mechanically harvested site in a tropical dry savanna. Our regression analyses show overall scolytine abundance was negatively correlated with rainfall, as were four species: the tropical nut borer (Hypothenemus obscurus), H. brunneus, Cryphalus longipilus, and Xyleborinus andrewesi. These relationships contributed to the compositions of the communities being markedly dissimilar despite having the same species richness. Multivariate analysis found no influence from temperature or harvest method on community dynamics. This information can be valuable for the timing of pest control methods, for predicting the success of possible new scolytine arrivals on Kaua'i, and for forecasting how these species may spread with climate change.