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Retention of wind-felled trees and the risk of consequential tree mortality by the European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus in Finland

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Autumn storms felled about 7 million m3 of forest in southern Finland in 2001. Windthrow area and timber characteristics, as well as numbers of standing spruce trees attacked and killed by Ips typographus, were recorded in 61 Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.]-dominated windthrow areas. Generalized linear models were used to identify significant variables predicting the risk for consequential tree mortality by I. typographus. None of the windthrow areas with fewer than 20 wind-felled spruce trees (WFS) (n=28) and only half of the areas with 20 or more WFS (n=33) harboured trees killed by I. typographus during the years 2003-2005. The quantity and diameter of WFS and the basal area of recently dead standing spruce trees correlated positively with the risk of tree deaths. This study indicates that in Finland, at endemic I. typographus population levels, it is safe to leave fewer than 20 WFS in managed forests. Retention of even larger quantities of trees does not seem to evoke significant numbers of consequential tree deaths by I. typographus in managed forests. However, in stands where the natural mortality of spruce trees is high, the risks of consequential tree deaths after wind disturbance will also be higher.
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Keywords: Dead wood; Ips typographus; tree deaths; windthrow

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland 2: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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