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Tree Mortality, Needle Biomass Recovery and Growth Losses in Scots Pine Following Defoliation by Diprion pini (L.) and Subsequent Attack by Tomicus piniperda (L.)

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Abstract:

Tree mortality and growth losses following insect defoliation are poorly documented in Scandinavia. In 1990-1991, Diprion pini (L.) caused extensive defoliation to Scots pine in Lauhanvuori national park and surrounding areas in south-western Finland. Most trees lost all their foliage in 1990. In 1991, the outbreak area was sprayed with diflubenzuron (Dimilin®), except in the national park, where trees were severely defoliated again. No further defoliation occurred in 1992. In spring 1993, sprayed trees had ca 30% foliage, whereas unsprayed trees on average carried less than 10% of full foliage. The latter trees were susceptible to attack by Tomicus piniperda (L.), whereas the former largely escaped beetle attack. Beetle attacks peaked in 1993, and depletion of suitable host trees probably terminated the beetle outbreak in the area. Two years of severe defoliation resulted in substantial tree mortality and growth losses. In spring 1997, these unsprayed stands had suffered a ca. 50% loss in basal area which was mainly because of mortality, and about half of the dead trees had been attacked by T. piniperda. Surviving trees had ca 50% of full foliage, and radial growth had still not recovered. Basal area growth was reduced by 40-70%, depending on the amount of foliage left after the second year of defoliation. In contrast, tree mortality and beetle attack in the sprayed stands were negligible, and these trees had recovered full foliage and radial growth by spring 1997. Thus, one year of total defoliation resulted in an estimated loss in basal area growth of approximately 30% during ca. 5 yrs. In conclusion, the spraying operation was economically justified, as it prevented substantial tree mortality and reduced growth losses.

Keywords: BEETLES; CHEMICAL; CONTROL; DIMILIN; PINE; PINUS; SAWFLIES; SHOOT; SYLVESTRIS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827580118325

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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