Forests 2014, 5(1), 88-102; doi:10.3390/f5010088
Article

Composition and Elevation of Spruce Forests Affect Susceptibility to Bark Beetle Attacks: Implications for Forest Management

1,* email and 2email
Received: 13 November 2013; in revised form: 31 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 14 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), is one of the most destructive insects infesting spruce forests in Europe. Data concerning infestations of I. typographus occurring over the last 19 years (1994–2012) on the Southern Alps were analyzed in seven spruce forest types: (1) pure spruce plantations; (2) pure spruce reforestations; (3) pure spruce mountain forests; (4) pure spruce alpine forests; (5) spruce-conifer mixed forests; (6) spruce-broadleaf mixed forests; and (7) spruce-conifer-broadleaf mixed forests. The collected data included the amount of I. typographus damage and the location and composition of the infested forests. The results indicate that different forest types are differently susceptible to I. typographus. Plantations, reforestations and mountain spruce forests show mean damage and mean number of infestations higher than other forest types. Within pure spruce forests, alpine forests growing at high elevations (>1300 m) suffer low damage. Furthermore, the mean number of infestation spots recorded annually in the different spruce forest types is negatively correlated with a Naturality Index value. The results suggest that forest composition and elevation are the main factors driving the risk of I. typographus damage. A new management strategy for some spruce forest types is needed, with a progressive reduction of pure spruce forests at low altitude and an increase of broadleaf composition.
Keywords: Scolytinae; Ips typographus; forest management; outbreaks; Southern Alps; Italy
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [774 KB, Updated Version, uploaded 15 January 2014 15:12 CET]
The original version is still available [227 KB, uploaded 14 January 2014 08:53 CET]

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Faccoli, M.; Bernardinelli, I. Composition and Elevation of Spruce Forests Affect Susceptibility to Bark Beetle Attacks: Implications for Forest Management. Forests 2014, 5, 88-102.

AMA Style

Faccoli M, Bernardinelli I. Composition and Elevation of Spruce Forests Affect Susceptibility to Bark Beetle Attacks: Implications for Forest Management. Forests. 2014; 5(1):88-102.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Faccoli, Massimo; Bernardinelli, Iris. 2014. "Composition and Elevation of Spruce Forests Affect Susceptibility to Bark Beetle Attacks: Implications for Forest Management." Forests 5, no. 1: 88-102.

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert