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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Forest management and natural biocontrol of insect pests

Klapwijk, Maartje; Bylund, Helena; Schroeder, Martin; Björkman, Christer

Abstract

Current silvicultural practices are under revision as result of changing demands and pressing environmental issues. We compared the monoculture clear-cut regime commonly used during the recent decades in Europe, especially in Fennoscandia, and in North America, with three alternative forest management methods, short rotation forestry, mixed forest stands and continuous cover forestry. We evaluate how these alternative management methods are Likely to affect the natural control of forest insect (regeneration pests, defoliators and bark beetles). Particular emphasis was placed on the effects of forest management on natural enemy pressure. We argue that changing forest management to any of the methods discussed will, in most cases, decrease the relative effects of bottom-up forces (resource quality and quantity) and increase the relative effects of top-down forces (natural enemy pressure) on forest pests. As population growth of the pest species presently causing most damage in European managed forests (i.e. pine weevil and spruce bark beetle) is mainly Limited by bottom-up forces (quantity of suitable breeding material), changes in forest management could increase the relative importance of top-down forces by modifying stand characteristics to actively support the natural enemies. However, it remains to be investigated to what extent such alterations will result in decreased damage to trees even though some evidence points in that direction.

Keywords

population dynamics; insects; arthropods; silviculture; biological control; enemy:prey ratio

Published in

Forestry
2016, volume: 89, number: 3, pages: 253-262
Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

Associated SLU-program

Future Forests (until Jan 2017)
SLU Future Forests
SLU Network Plant Protection

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science
Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/forestry/cpw019

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/79266