Increased insect damage in Hungarian forests under drought impact

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Abstract

The increased frequency and severity of drought played a key role in provoking more serious outbreaks of several forest insects, leading to a significant expansion of the damaged territory. Populations of six species involved in this study showed significantly increasing trend over the last three decades. These are as follows: bark beetles on conifers, Curculio acorn weevils, Euproctis chrysorrhoea, Kermes quercus, pine sawflies, tortricid leafrollers. All of these species are known to prefer warm and dry conditions. The yearly value of area damaged in case of four pests (bark beetles on conifers, Curculio acorn weevils, Kermes quercus, pine sawflies) gave highly significant positive correlation with several drought indicating variables (yearly values, 2-, 3-, 4-years moving averages of forest drought damage and drought index). On top of the increasing damage, at least 20 species considered as thermo-, and xerophilous appeared as new forest pest in Hungary over the last 2 decades. These are for example: Cameraria ochridella (Lepidoptera), Parectopa robiniella (Lepidoptera), Phylloxera cerris (Homoptera), Nycteola asiatica (Lepidoptera), Tischeria spp. (Lepidoptera). However, it should not be concluded that drought stimulates damage expansion in all forest pests. Factors other than climate also can play significant role. These factors are for example the improper human managing activities as draining the water from the forests and planting pure and evenaged stands on sub-optimal sites. These factors and the climate extremes make each other's negative effects stronger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalBiologia
Volume52
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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