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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Do restoration fellings in protected forests increase the risk of bark beetle damages in adjacent forests? A case study from Fennoscandian boreal forest

Komonen, Atte; Kouki, Jari


Gap fellings are used to promote multi-cohort structures and to restore other natural forest structures and processes in protected areas that have been altered by anthropogenic activities. Gaps and felled trees may also provide breeding material for species that in high numbers can cause significant tree mortality, growth reduction and consequent economic losses in surrounding production forests. In this study, the effect of restoration gap fellings on feeding intensity of Tomicus spp. (pine shoot beetles) was evaluated by counting fallen pine shoots at different distances from gaps in a protected area in eastern Finland. Gap fellings had a clear effect on the feeding intensity of the beetles. The average density of fallen shoots m(-2) was 17 within a 10-m distance from gaps but decreased rapidly to around 4 at the distance of 50 m and beyond. The distance decay in shoot feeding is described well by the negative exponential models. Our results suggest that gap fellings have only a localized effect on shoot feeding by Tomicus in the forests surrounding the restoration gaps. In practical restoration, a buffer zone of 100-200 m around the gap fellings, as implemented here, is enough to minimize economically significant growth reduction in surrounding production forests. As shown in this study, restoration of natural forest structures and dynamics to protect biodiversity is not necessarily in conflict with forest hygiene objectives in production forests. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


coleoptera; forest conservation; gap felling; pine shoot beetle; Pinus; Tomicus

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2008, Volume: 255, number: 11, pages: 3736-3743

    SLU Authors

    • Komonen, Atte

      • University of Joensuu (JoY)

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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