Scientists say the beetles’ spread throughout the Pinelands is almost surely a result of climate change, the Times reports. “I think the scientific inference is about as good as it gets,” says Ayres. “This is a big deal, and it’s going to forever change the way forests have to be managed in New Jersey.”
A thriving tree can fight off small numbers of the beetle, says Ayres, but large numbers can overwhelm even healthy trees. “The way they kill trees is the way wolves kill a moose—they do it by numbers,” Ayres tells the Times.
Read the full story, published 12/1/13 by The New York Times.