Current issue: 56(4)
Concentration of the phytotoxic air pollutant, ozone (O3) is continually increasing in the lower layer of the troposphere. The purpose of this study was to compare performance of pine sawflies on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings in ambient and future levels of ozone. Scots pine seedlings were grown in field fumigation system where the ozone doses in fumigated plots were 1.5–1.6 times the ambient level. Larvae of the European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffroy and Gilpinia pallida Klug) were reared on the foliage of Scots pine. The levels of resin acids and monoterpenes in foliage were analysed. There were no significant effects of ozone fumigation on sawfly performance or levels of defence compounds in pine foliage. The results suggest that the elevated ozone concentrations do not strongly affect the needle quality of young Scots pine and the importance of these two diprionid sawfly species forest pests.
The European Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffroy) is one of the most serious defoliators of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in northern Europe. We studied the pattern in the regional occurrence of the outbreaks of N. sertifer in Finland in years 1961-90, and made predictions about the outbreak pattern to the year 2050 after predicted winter warming. We tested whether minimum winter temperatures and forest type and soil properties could explain the observed outbreak pattern. We analysed outbreak patterns at two different spatial levels: forest board- and municipal-level.
The proportion of coniferous forests on damage-susceptible soils (dry and infertile sites) explained a significant part of the variation in outbreak frequency at small spatial scale (municipalities) but not at large spatial scale (forest boards). At the forest board level, the incidence of minimum temperatures below -36 °C (= the critical value for egg mortality) explains 33% of the variation in the outbreak pattern, and at the municipal level the incidence of cold winters was also the most significant explaining variable in northern Finland. Egg mortality due to cold winters seems to be the most parsimonious factor explaining why there have been so few N. sertifer outbreaks in northern and north-eastern Finland. We predict that climate change (increased winter temperatures) may increase the frequency of outbreaks in eastern and northern Finland in the future.