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.
A forest damage was detected in spring 1931 near electro-chemical factory in Imatra in Eastern Finland. It was deduced that it was caused by a gas discharge from the factory. A survey was made to describe the damages. Forests in the damaged area of five hectares were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated and 60-80 years old. According to the factory, the exhaust gases contained 0.4 mg chlorine per liter. In addition, chlorate containing liquids evaporated thorough the chimney, which seemed to have been the main cause of the damage. The chlorates may have concentrated in the snow covering the trees during the winter. The Scots pine trees had lost all the needles in spring, but grew new needles in the summer. In some trees the new needles were few or undeveloped. Some mild damages were noticed in pine and Betula sp. during the growing season. Forest edges and trees higher that the other trees were worst damaged. Pine was most sensitive to the emission. Pine weakened by the gas damages were attacked by insects, the most important being Pissodes sp. The secondary insect damage is likely to kill the surviving trees. The dying pines should be removed only if it is necessary to prevent the spreading of insect damage. The trees may hinder the spreading of further gas emissions. In future, other tree species should be preferred over pine.
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