How to eat a forest—SPB style
How to Eat a Forest – Southern Pine Beetle Style was developed by the University of Florida's School of Forest Resources & Conservation (SFRC) Extension Programs.
More information can be found here.
In this activity, students play a board game that simulates the feeding and reproductive patterns of pine beetles in a forest. Students are introduced to the life cycle of the insect, the specific host it feeds on, and the environmental conditions that favor the spread of the beetles through the forest. This activity is another application of the impact triangle concept, where the three factors of host tree, insect causal agent, and appropriate environmental conditions must be present for trees to be damaged by beetles.
Following simulations for several different forest conditions, you may engage students in a discussion of the dynamics of this insect-tree relationship and its effects on the forest. Topics and questions include the following: What changes to the forest would occur given the density of trees and beetles? Is an epidemic attack of beetles inevitable or could it be prevented? How could trees be planted to reduce the risk of a beetle population explosion? What is the difference between the natural role of beetles in a forest versus their potential danger in a forest where trees are valued for industry?
Please note all credits go to by the University of Florida's School of Forest Resources & Conservation (SFRC) Extension Programs. Plant Heroes did not create any of the materials shared here.