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Why extreme cold is good for Alberta forests

Reference: CTV News

Not everyone is unhappy with the extreme cold gripping the province.

“There are some of us that are cheering,” said Janice Cooke, a professor at the University of Alberta.

When the temperature drops low enough, as it has this past week, it can be deadly for the mountain pine beetle.

 

“We’re actually talking about the larvae from these beetles. The beetles are flying in the summer; they mate, they lay eggs, those eggs hatch and then the larvae are growing all through the fall, so it’s the larvae that are sitting under the bark over wintering and getting ready to grow again in the spring, so that’s what we’re hoping that the cold will kill,” said Cooke.

She said the larvae contain compounds that act as anti-freeze to help them survive the winter, but that compound becomes less effective as the temperature dips... Read More