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Research article2011Peer reviewed

Regeneration of European boreal forests: Effectiveness of measures against seedling mortality caused by the pine weevil Hylobius abietis

Nordlander, Göran; Hellqvist, Claes; Johansson, Karin; Nordenhem, Henrik

Abstract

Successful regeneration of conifer forests by planting is, in large parts of Europe, highly dependent on the effective suppression of damage caused by the pine weevil Hylobius abietis. We investigated the effectiveness of various combinations of control measures against pine weevil damage under boreal forest conditions in Sweden. In particular, we aimed to determine whether satisfactory regeneration could be obtained without the use of insecticides. The experimental study was established on ten new clear-cuts in each of three consecutive years. We studied the use of chemical and physical methods to protect seedlings directly, and investigated the influence of seedling type, age of clear-cut, and a number of soil factors as affected by preparation of the planting site, on the mortality and level of damage suffered by protected and unprotected seedlings. After two seasons, mortality due to pine weevil was 16% among unprotected seedlings, 6% for seedlings treated with the insecticides cypermethrin or imidacloprid, and less than 1% for those physically protected by a coating of Conniflex. However, the Conniflex, which consists of fine-grained sand embedded in a flexible acrylate matrix, was applied manually, and this may have enhanced its effectiveness compared to that achieved during large-scale, commercial application. Two types of containerized Norway spruce seedlings, which differed mainly in their stem diameter (average 2.6 mm and 3.5 mm), were used in the experiments. Among the unprotected seedlings, the narrower stemmed type was more frequently attacked (34% vs. 28%) and killed (19% vs. 12%) by pine weevil. Mortality caused by pine weevil among unprotected seedlings was higher on 1-year-old than on 2-year-old clear-cuts (20% vs. 12%). Soil preparation around unprotected seedlings had a substantial effect on the proportion attacked and killed by pine weevil as well as on the total mortality, with the highest level of feeding damage and mortality occurring on seedlings in undisturbed humus, and the lowest levels occurring on seedlings planted in pure mineral soil (26% vs. 7% for unprotected seedlings). This study demonstrates that acceptable levels of seedling survival can be achieved in regenerations of North European boreal forest without the use of insecticides. Mortality of unprotected seedlings can be reduced to acceptable levels if they are mostly planted in pure mineral soil. Damage can be further reduced by using seedlings with a somewhat larger stem diameter. Insecticides or a physical barrier of Conniflex alone appear to provide a sufficient level of protection. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Physical protection; Picea abies; Reforestation; Seedling protection; Seedling size; Soil scarification

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2011, Volume: 262, number: 12, pages: 2354-2363
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

      SLU Authors

        • Sustainable Development Goals

          Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Forest Science

          Publication identifier

          DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.033

          Permanent link to this page (URI)

          https://res.slu.se/id/publ/58886