Current issue: 54(2)
We investigated the impact of natural enemies on the cocoon mortality of the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) during a six-year period in eastern Finland. The enemies were classified into parasitoids (insect families Chalcidoidea, Ichneumonidae, and Tachinidae), and predators (birds, small mammals, and insect families Elateridae and Carabidae). The appearance of D. pini was estimated as the intensity of annual defoliation. The impact of stand characteristics on the performance of parasitoids and predators was also investigated. Influence of the natural enemy complex on cocoon mortality of D. pini was nearly stable, but defoliation intensity slowly declined towards the end of the study period. Annual cocoon mortality by natural enemies varied between 66% and 80%. Our results verified that the most significant mortality factors were ichneumonid parasitoids and small mammals. Random Forest classification indicated that stand characteristics, such as basal area, and coverage of lichen (Lichenes) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) affected the performance of parasites and predators. We suggest that a combination of optimal stand characteristics, abiotic environmental factors and mild to moderate control by natural enemies acted as drivers, which drove the pine sawfly population to extended gradation. For future forest health management, detailed information on abiotic and biotic regulating factors, along with long-term monitoring campaigns for conifer sawflies are needed to adapt Fennoscandian forests to altered climatic and silvicultural conditions.
We investigated if coarse-resolution satellite data from the MODIS sensor can be used for regional monitoring of insect disturbances in Fennoscandia. A damage detection method based on z-scores of seasonal maximums of the 2-band Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI2) was developed. Time-series smoothing was applied and Receiver Operating Characteristics graphs were used for optimisation. The method was developed in fragmented and heavily managed forests in eastern Finland dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) (pinaceae) and with defoliation of European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffr.) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) and common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae). The method was also applied to subalpine mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. Czerepanovii N.I. Orlova) forests in northern Sweden, infested by autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata Borkhausen) and winter moth (Operophtera brumata L.). In Finland, detection accuracies were fairly low with 50% of the damaged stands detected, and a misclassification of healthy stands of 22%. In areas with long outbreak histories the method resulted in extensive misclassification. In northern Sweden accuracies were higher, with 75% of the damage detected and a misclassification of healthy samples of 19%. Our results indicate that MODIS data may fail to detect damage in fragmented forests, particularly when the damage history is long. Therefore, regional studies based on these data may underestimate defoliation. However, the method yielded accurate results in homogeneous forest ecosystems and when long-enough periods without damage could be identified. Furthermore, the method is likely to be useful for insect disturbance detection using future medium-resolution data, e.g. from Sentinel‑2.