Arthropods, 2014, 3(2): 96-110
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Health assessment of pine forest as affected by geothermal activities: Presence of Monterey pine aphid, Essigella californica (Essig) (Homoptera: Aphidae) associated with higher concentrations of boron on pine needles

Adolfo Arturo Del Rio Mora
Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Avenue San Juanito Itzicuaro,s/n, C.P. 58330, Morelia, Michoacan., Mexico

Received 13 February 2014;Accepted 20 March 2014;Published online 1 June 2014

Studies on assessments of the air pollution and deposition caused by geothermal fields on the forest health and presence of pests have been few documented to date. In the geothermal field "Los Humeros", located between the borders of the states of Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico was realized a forest health monitoring to know the assessment could have these emissions of sulphur (S) and other two chemical elements measured by their concentrations on leaf tissues in the surrounding forests. For it were evaluated the forest healthy and pest insects registered at 20 stands of which were chosen completely at random 40 trees in total/site of the species Pinus montezumae and P. teocotein natural stands and plantations and picked up leaf tissue samples representatives per stand to determine the contents of sulphur (S), boron (B) and arsenic (As) representing each forest stand. The results of the study revealed that the presence of forest pests are not related to the proximity of the sites to emissions from stationary sources of emissions and moreover the amount of these 3 chemical substances monitored do not have none influence on the forest healthy sites condition, except for the Monterey pine aphid Essigella californica Essig, which seems to be directly associated with higher Boron content in the needles (mean=167.4732.15, and peak 635.46 ppm) and proximity of emission sources geothermal vents or where it is believed all these chemical elements are carried down by air currents to specific points and deposited in the stands. The general model obtained and with significance of R2=56.6 and P value 0.0033 for the presence of Monterey Pine aphid and the three main pollutants released from smoke plumes in geothermal systems is [D: Essigella]= -0.2088 + 1.880E-0.5 (A:SO4)+ 0.002245 (B:B) + 1.248 (C:As). The results suggest the use of aphid species as bioindicators of polluted sites.

Keywords forest health monitoring;Monterey pine aphid;sulphur;boron;pollution;geothermal field;acid rain.

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