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Special Issue "Protection Strategy against Spruce Budworm"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. David MacLean

University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management, POB 4400, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Forest Ecology;Early intervention against Spruce Budworm;Forest management and biodiversity;Stand dynamics and modeling; Insect impacts on forests

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)) outbreaks are a dominant natural disturbance in forests of Canada and northeastern USA. Widespread, severe defoliation by this native insect results in large-scale mortality and growth reductions of spruce (Picea sp.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) forests, and largely determines future age-class structure and productivity. The last major spruce budworm outbreak defoliated over 58 million hectares in the 1970s–1980s, and caused 32–43 million m3/year of timber volume losses from 1978 to 1987, in Canada.

Management to deal with spruce budworm outbreaks has emphasized forest protection, spraying registered insecticides to prevent defoliation and keep trees alive. Other tactics can include salvage harvesting, altering harvest schedules to remove the most susceptible stands, or reducing future susceptibility by planting or thinning. Chemical insecticides are no longer used, and protection strategies use the biological insecticides Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) or tebufenozide, a specific insect growth regulator. Over the last four years, a $20 million research project has tested another possible management tactic, termed an early intervention strategy, aimed at area-wide management of spruce budworm populations. This includes intensive monitoring to detect ‘hot spots’ of rising budworm populations before defoliation occurs, targeted insecticide treatment to prevent spread, and detailed research into target and non-target insect effects.

The objective of this Special Issue is to compile the most recent research on protection strategies against spruce budworm. A series of papers will describe results and prospects for use of an early intervention strategy in spruce budworm and other insect management.

Dr. David MacLean
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  •  spruce budworm
  • forest protection
  • early intervention strategy
  • decision-support system
  • area-wide insect population management
  • block planning
  • timber supply effects
  • economic effects
  • monitoring and detection
  • targeted insecticide treatment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Effects of Hardwood Content on Balsam Fir Defoliation during the Building Phase of a Spruce Budworm Outbreak
Forests 2018, 9(9), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090530
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Defoliation by spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) on balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) is more severe in fir than in mixed fir-hardwood stands. Previous studies assumed that defoliation in fir-hardwood stands was reduced in proportion to percent hardwood regardless of [...] Read more.
Defoliation by spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem.) on balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) is more severe in fir than in mixed fir-hardwood stands. Previous studies assumed that defoliation in fir-hardwood stands was reduced in proportion to percent hardwood regardless of outbreak severity. We tested the influence of stand composition on defoliation during the first 5 years of a spruce budworm outbreak near Amqui, Quebec, by sampling 27 fir-hardwood plots selected to represent three percent hardwood basal area classes (0%–25%, 40%–65%, and 75%–95%). Balsam fir defoliation was significantly lower (p < 0.001) as hardwood content increased, but the relationship varied with overall defoliation severity each year. Annual plot defoliation in fir-hardwood plots, estimated using: (1) defoliation in pure fir plots and the assumption that defoliation in fir-hardwood plots was reduced in proportion to percent hardwood; (2) a generalized linear mixed-effects model with defoliation in pure fir plots, percent hardwood, and interaction as fixed-effects; and (3) Random Forests prediction incorporating 11 predictor variables, resulted in r = 0.77, 0.87, and 0.92 versus measured defoliation, respectively. Average defoliation severity in softwood plots and percent hardwood content were the most important variables in Random Forests analysis. Data on average defoliation level in softwood stands, as an indicator of overall outbreak severity, improves prediction of balsam fir defoliation in mixed stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection Strategy against Spruce Budworm)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Annual Spruce Budworm Defoliation and Severity Classification Using Landsat Imagery
Forests 2018, 9(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060357
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spruce budworm (SBW) is the most destructive forest pest in eastern forests of North America. Mapping annual current-year SBW defoliation is challenging because of the large landscape scale of infestations, high temporal/spatial variability, and the short period of time when detection is possible. [...] Read more.
Spruce budworm (SBW) is the most destructive forest pest in eastern forests of North America. Mapping annual current-year SBW defoliation is challenging because of the large landscape scale of infestations, high temporal/spatial variability, and the short period of time when detection is possible. We used Landsat-5 and Landsat-MSS data to develop a method to detect and map SBW defoliation, which can be used as ancillary or alternative information for aerial sketch maps (ASMs). Results indicated that Landsat-5 data were capable of detecting and classifying SBW defoliation into three levels comparable to ASMs. For SBW defoliation classification, a combination of three vegetation indices, including normalized difference moisture index (NDMI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), were found to provide the highest accuracy (non-defoliated: 77%, light defoliation: 60%, moderate defoliation: 52%, and severe defoliation: 77%) compared to using only NDMI (non-defoliated: 76%, light defoliation: 40%, moderate defoliation: 43%, and severe defoliation: 67%). Detection of historical SBW defoliation was possible using Landsat-MSS NDVI data, and the produced maps were used to complement coarse-resolution aerial sketch maps of the past outbreak. The method developed for Landsat-5 data can be used for current SBW outbreak mapping in North America using Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 imagery. Overall, the work highlights the potential of moderate resolution optical remote sensing data to detect and classify fine-scale patterns in tree defoliation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection Strategy against Spruce Budworm)
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