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Damage by pine weevil Hylobius abietis to conifer seedlings after shelterwood removal

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Pine weevil ( Hylobius abietis L.) damage to seedlings after overstorey removal was investigated in a survey study in six shelterwoods in the south–central part of Sweden. The shelterwoods predominantly consisted of Scots pine, except at one site where the shelter trees mainly consisted of Norway spruce. Before final cutting, 10 plots were laid out at each site and measurements of shelter trees and marked seedlings were taken. The seedlings were examined during the 2 years after final cutting. The study showed that removal of shelter trees increases the risk of severe damage by pine weevil and the variable that was most strongly correlated with the risk was the seedling root collar diameter. Both Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings were severely damaged by pine weevil, and most of the feeding occurred during the first year after cutting. The amount of debarked area was significantly larger for Scots pine than for Norway spruce seedlings. Vitality (growth of the leading shoot before final cutting) of the seedlings also affected the probability of damage. Seedlings with high vitality were less damaged by pine weevil than seedlings with low vitality. For Scots pine the shelterwood density before final cutting was correlated to the intensity of pine weevil feeding after cutting. In conclusion, after the final cutting of a pine or spruce shelterwood, pine weevils will probably invade the area. To avoid serious damage, Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings should have reached a diameter of at least 10–12 mm.
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Keywords: Hylobius abietis; overstorey removal; pine weevil; seedlings; shelterwood

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Asa Forest Research Station, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Lammhult, Sweden 2: Department of Forest and Wood Technology, Växjö University, Växjö, Sweden 3: Suonenjoki Research Station, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki, Finland

Publication date: 01 October 2005

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