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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Spruce Protection against Ips typographus with Anti-Attractant Blend of Tree-Based Semiochemicals: From Small Experimental Plots to Stand Scales

Jakus, Rastislav; Trubin, Aleksei; Singh, Vivek Vikram; Zabihi, Khodabakhsh; Jirosova, Anna; Modlinger, Roman; Majdak, Andrej; Korolyova, Nataliya; Moliterno, Antonioni Acacio Campos; Kaspar, Jaroslav; Slavik, Martin; Surovy, Peter; Turcani, Marek; Schlyter, Fredrik


Tree-killing bark beetles require rapid management, such as anti-attractants, to stop the enlargement of attack hot-spots. We tested two newer anti-attractant blends, both without verbenone and one with the addition of trans-4-thujanol, in traps against standard pheromone baits for inhibition of catch. Both blends provided effective catch reduction (>95%). We also tested these anti-attractant blends in tree protection experiments for two years. We had experimental plots with a center of an anti-attractant protected tree zone, with no traditional control area, but we followed tree kills in 10 m wide concentric rings to 100 m. In 2020, we had 12 plots, and 9 plots in 2021. Monitoring by low-strength pheromone traps followed beetle flight averaging 300/trap during the shorter period, August 2020, and 5000/trap during the longer period, May to August 2021. The blends of anti-attractants were 100% effective in avoiding tree mortality in both treated trees and their surroundings. There were no bark beetle attacks on any treated trees, and there was zero tree mortality up to 19 m in 2020, and up to 30 m in 2021, thus full protection to circa 20 m. The density of killed trees then increased from close to zero, over 20 to 50 m, reaching a level of ca 30 (trees/ha) then declined. The spatial pattern of tree mortality on our experimental plots was highly heterogeneous and individual 10m-ring data points on tree kill density could not be statistically separated. In contrast, a non-linear regression model showed a continuous increase of attacks over the distance from the center to a peak ca 60m, followed by a decline. This model agrees partly with the only similar study in the literature, but importantly, it does not give a peak of kill density at distances between the first and second rings close to treatment zones. Such patterns of close-quarter kills have been observed as a "switching" of attack in this and other scolytid systems manipulated by anti-attractants, but not in the present study, likely due to the elimination of verbenone from our blends.


non-host volatiles; semiochemical diversity hypothesis; anti-attractants; switching; verbenone; trans-4-thujanol; Norway spruce; Eurasian spruce bark beetle

Published in

2024, Volume: 15, number: 2, article number: 356
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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