The condition of Ukraine's forests has deteriorated sharply since the 2009 drought. Over 10 years, the area of Scots pine stands decline has increased 2.3 times. The purpose of the research was an integration of published and own data on the spatial & temporal dynamics of Scots pine forest decline with the contribution of bark beetles and pointing the ways for mitigating this process. The reference materials regarding the forest stands characteristics, forest health, weather, as well as the results of own field and laboratory research (forest inspection, laboratory rearing the bark beetles in branches, evaluation of parameters) were the data sources. Ips acuminatus (Gyllenhal, 1827): Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae was the first bark beetle to infest the stands weakened in a result of climate change and anthropogenic pressure, including forest management. Pure pine stands over 70 years old were infested first. The relative density of stocking by itself is a less important risk factor than its sudden decrease by thinning or clear felling of the neighboring stands. The predominant development of outbreaks of drying out in Polesie (Forest zone) is associated with a large proportion of pure pine plantations of the same age, untimely thinning, and relatively slow drying of felling residues (in comparison with the Forest-Steppe), in which the bark beetle has time to complete its development. The algorithm for prediction of bark beetles foci spread was developed. It will help to upgrade the accuracy of prediction, to evaluate the optimal area of survey and control measures against insect pests. Recommendations for improving the forestry regulatory framework have been developed.
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The lessons of Scots pine forest decline in Ukraine
Published: 12 November 2020 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Forests — Forests for a Better Future: Sustainability, Innovation, Interdisciplinarity session Fire Risks and Other Natural Hazards
Keywords: climate change; tree species composition; forest management; bark beetles; outbreaks development