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Special Issue "Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Beat Wermelinger

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Forest Dynamics, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +41 44 739 22 15
Interests: forest entomology, bark beetles, natural enemies of bark beetles, insect-host tree interactions, saproxylic beetles, insect succession after windthrows and wildfires, insects on urban trees, alien insect species

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Insects pose a serious threat to European forests, causing potentially more damage than e.g. fires or storms. Similarly, in forests of the U.S.A. insects and diseases cause the largest economic losses of all disturbances. Bark beetles are probably the group with the greatest detrimental potential. They have the ability not only to kill single trees and stands, but also to reshape entire forest landscapes, as has recently happened in North America after outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle. Climate change is likely to increase outbreak risks both directly, by accelerating insect development, and indirectly, by reducing host tree resistance.

Among the key factors driving bark beetle outbreaks are the complex interactions between the trees defending themselves against bark beetle attack and the beetles striving to overcome this defense. The outcome very much depends on external abiotic and biotic factors. Our insufficient understanding of these host tree-pest interactions constitutes a major gap, e.g. in parameterizing risk models of bark beetle attack, and further research is essential.

For this special issue, papers are welcome on all aspects of the interactions between trees and bark beetles, as well as on resistance at the tree and stand level, tritrophic interactions including natural enemies, and methods and indicators for identifying "tree resistance" to bark beetles. Contributions are also encouraged on the possible impacts of climate change on bark beetle population dynamics, as well as on the development and management of forests under increasing pressure from bark beetles.

Dr. Beat Wermelinger
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • population dynamics
  • tree resistance
  • drought
  • disturbance
  • infestation risk
  • tritrophic interactions
  • modelling

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Changes in a Primary Resistance Parameter of Lodgepole Pine to Bark Beetle Attack One Year Following Fertilization and Thinning
Forests 2015, 6(2), 280-292; doi:10.3390/f6020280
Received: 25 September 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
PDF Full-text (720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many of the forest soils in the Intermountain West are deficient in several nutrients, including nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sulfur (S) and boron (B) and these deficiencies may impact tree resistance to insect attack. Two potential techniques for manipulating tree resistance are fertilization
[...] Read more.
Many of the forest soils in the Intermountain West are deficient in several nutrients, including nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sulfur (S) and boron (B) and these deficiencies may impact tree resistance to insect attack. Two potential techniques for manipulating tree resistance are fertilization and thinning. We examined fertilization (both alone and in conjunction with stand thinning). Conifer resistance to bark beetles involves a three-step response, the first stage of which is resin flow. Rapid resin flow can prevent the colonization of bark beetles within a tree. Fertilization with low levels of N resulted in an increase in resin flow while high levels of N did not significantly increase resin flow in treated trees. Thinning did not result in higher concentrations of foliar K or B but did result in higher concentrations of foliar N and S. The highest concentrations of foliar N and S consistently occurred in the trees from thinned treatments, regardless of fertilization. There was a negative correlation between tree growth and resin flow one year following treatments. Increasing available nutrient levels to trees (either through fertilization or stand density management) may result in modified resistance parameters that must be considered when making management decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
Open AccessArticle Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth- and Douglas-Fir Beetle-Caused Mortality in a Ponderosa Pine/Douglas-Fir Forest in the Colorado Front Range, USA
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3131-3146; doi:10.3390/f5123131
Received: 6 May 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily
[...] Read more.
An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation resulted in significant Douglas-fir mortality in the heavily defoliated stands, leading to a change in dominance to ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Lawson. Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsuqae Hopkins, populations increased following the defoliation event but caused less mortality, and did not differ between heavily and lightly defoliated stands. Douglas-fir tussock moth-related mortality was greatest in trees less than 15 cm dbh (diameter at 1.4 m above the ground) that grew in suppressed and intermediate canopy positions. Douglas-fir beetle-related mortality was greatest in trees larger than 15 cm dbh that grew in the dominant and co-dominant crown positions. Although both insects utilize Douglas-fir as its primary host, stand response to infestation is different. The extensive outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth followed by Douglas-fir beetle activity may be associated with a legacy of increased host type growing in overstocked conditions as a result of fire exclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
Open AccessArticle Resiliency of an Interior Ponderosa Pine Forest to Bark Beetle Infestations Following Fuel-Reduction and Forest-Restoration Treatments
Forests 2014, 5(1), 153-176; doi:10.3390/f5010153
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 9 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 20 January 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mechanical thinning and the application of prescribed fire are commonly used to restore fire-adapted forest ecosystems in the Western United States. During a 10-year period, we monitored the effects of fuel-reduction and forest-restoration treatments on levels of tree mortality in an interior ponderosa
[...] Read more.
Mechanical thinning and the application of prescribed fire are commonly used to restore fire-adapted forest ecosystems in the Western United States. During a 10-year period, we monitored the effects of fuel-reduction and forest-restoration treatments on levels of tree mortality in an interior ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws., forest in California. Twelve experimental plots, ranging in size from 77–144 ha, were established to create two distinct forest structural types: mid-seral stage (low structural diversity; LoD) and late-seral stage (high structural diversity; HiD). Following harvesting, half of each plot was treated with prescribed fire (B). A total of 16,473 trees (8.7% of all trees) died during the 10-year period. Mortality was primarily attributed to bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) (10,655 trees), specifically fir engraver, Scolytus ventralis LeConte, mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, western pine beetle, D. brevicomis LeConte, pine engraver, Ips pini (Say), and, to a much lesser extent, Jeffrey pine beetle, D. jeffreyi Hopkins. Trees of all ages and size classes were killed, but mortality was concentrated in the smaller-diameter classes (19–29.2 and 29.3–39.3 cm at 1.37 m in height). Most mortality occurred three to five years following prescribed burns. Higher levels of bark beetle-caused tree mortality were observed on LoD + B (8.7%) than LoD (4.2%). The application of these and other results to the   management of interior P. ponderosa forests are discussed, with an emphasis on the maintenance of large trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
Open AccessArticle Composition and Elevation of Spruce Forests Affect Susceptibility to Bark Beetle Attacks: Implications for Forest Management
Forests 2014, 5(1), 88-102; doi:10.3390/f5010088
Received: 13 November 2013 / Revised: 31 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 14 January 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Management for Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak Suppression: Does Relevant Science Support Current Policy?
Forests 2014, 5(1), 103-133; doi:10.3390/f5010103
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 27 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 January 2014 / Published: 15 January 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the use of timber harvests is generally accepted as an effective approach to controlling bark beetles during outbreaks, in reality there has been a dearth of monitoring to assess outcomes, and failures are often not reported. Additionally, few studies have focused on
[...] Read more.
While the use of timber harvests is generally accepted as an effective approach to controlling bark beetles during outbreaks, in reality there has been a dearth of monitoring to assess outcomes, and failures are often not reported. Additionally, few studies have focused on how these treatments affect forest structure and function over the long term, or our forests’ ability to adapt to climate change. Despite this, there is a widespread belief in the policy arena that timber harvesting is an effective and necessary tool to address beetle infestations. That belief has led to numerous proposals for, and enactment of, significant changes in federal environmental laws to encourage more timber harvests for beetle control. In this review, we use mountain pine beetle as an exemplar to critically evaluate the state of science behind the use of timber harvest treatments for bark beetle suppression during outbreaks. It is our hope that this review will stimulate research to fill important gaps and to help guide the development of policy and management firmly based in science, and thus, more likely to aid in forest conservation, reduce financial waste, and bolster public trust in public agency decision-making and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
Open AccessReview Spruce Beetle Biology, Ecology and Management in the Rocky Mountains: An Addendum to Spruce Beetle in the Rockies
Forests 2014, 5(1), 21-71; doi:10.3390/f5010021
Received: 4 November 2013 / Revised: 15 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 3 January 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spruce beetle outbreaks have been reported in the Rocky Mountains of western North America since the late 1800s. In their classic paper, Spruce Beetle in the Rockies, Schmid and Frye reviewed the literature that emerged from the extensive outbreaks in Colorado in the
[...] Read more.
Spruce beetle outbreaks have been reported in the Rocky Mountains of western North America since the late 1800s. In their classic paper, Spruce Beetle in the Rockies, Schmid and Frye reviewed the literature that emerged from the extensive outbreaks in Colorado in the 1940s. A new wave of outbreaks has affected Rocky Mountain subalpine spruce-fir forests beginning in the mid-1980s and continuing to the present. These outbreaks have spurred another surge of basic and applied research in the biology, ecology and management of spruce and spruce beetle populations. This paper is a review of literature on spruce beetle focusing on work published since the late 1970s and is intended as an addendum to Spruce Beetle in the Rockies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessComment A Comment on “Management for Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak Suppression: Does Relevant Science Support Current Policy?”
Forests 2014, 5(4), 822-826; doi:10.3390/f5040822
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 12 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are two general approaches for reducing the negative impacts of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, on forests. Direct control involves short-term tactics designed to address current infestations by manipulating mountain pine beetle populations, and includes the use of fire, insecticides, semiochemicals,
[...] Read more.
There are two general approaches for reducing the negative impacts of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, on forests. Direct control involves short-term tactics designed to address current infestations by manipulating mountain pine beetle populations, and includes the use of fire, insecticides, semiochemicals, sanitation harvests, or a combination of these treatments. Indirect control is preventive, and designed to reduce the probability and severity of future infestations within treated areas by manipulating stand, forest and/or landscape conditions by reducing the number of susceptible host trees through thinning, prescribed burning, and/or alterations of age classes and species composition. We emphasize that “outbreak suppression” is not the intent or objective of management strategies implemented for mountain pine beetle in the western United States, and that the use of clear, descriptive language is important when assessing the merits of various treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)

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