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Open AccessCommunication
Forests 2011, 2(2), 474-485; doi:10.3390/f2020474

Insect Pests in Future Forests: More Severe Problems?

Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
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Received: 11 February 2011 / Accepted: 24 March 2011 / Published: 4 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Forests)
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Abstract

A common concern is that damage by insects will increase in forests as a consequence of climate change. We are assessing the likelihood of this predicted outcome by examining how other factors (especially changes in forest management practices) may interact with effects of climate change. Here we describe the strategies for improving understanding of the causes of insect outbreaks and predicting the likelihood of insect-mediated damage increasing in the future. The adopted approaches are: (i) analyses of historical data, (ii) comparison of life history traits of outbreak and non-outbreak species, (iii) experiments along climatic gradients to quantify the strength of trophic interactions, and (iv) modeling. We conclude that collaboration by researchers from many disciplines is required to evaluate available data regarding the complex interactions involved, to identify knowledge gaps, and facilitate attempts to progress beyond speculation to more robust predictions concerning future levels of insect damage to forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest insect pests; climate change; forest management; insect outbreak; time series; life history traits; population dynamics; trophic interactions; models forest insect pests; climate change; forest management; insect outbreak; time series; life history traits; population dynamics; trophic interactions; models
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Björkman, C.; Bylund, H.; Klapwijk, M.J.; Kollberg, I.; Schroeder, M. Insect Pests in Future Forests: More Severe Problems? Forests 2011, 2, 474-485.

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