Great Basin Naturalist


The interaction between Southwestern dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium vaginatum subspecies cryptopodum, infestation and defoliation by the pandora moth, Coloradia pandora pandora, on the Kaibab Plateau in Arizona was evaluated. Heavy defoliation of ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, in 1979 and 1981 resulted in mortality of individual trees in areas of heavy dwarf mistletoe infestation. Postmortem evaluation of ponderosa pines indicated that dead trees had a significantly higher dwarf mistletoe rating than did nearby paired live trees. Of 25 tree pairs evaluated, only two live trees had higher dwarf mistletoe ratings than the paired dead tree. Mean dwarf mistletoe ratings were: live trees 2.9, dead trees 4.6 (6 class dwarf mistletoe rating system). Implications for management of the pandora moth are discussed.