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Forest insects and climate change: long-term trends in herbivore damage

Klapwijk, Maartje and Csóka, György and Hirka, Anikó and Björkman, Christer (2013). Forest insects and climate change: long-term trends in herbivore damage. Ecology and evolution. 3 :12 , 4183-4196
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.717


Long-term data sets, covering several decades, could help to reveal the effects of observed climate change on herbivore damage to plants. However, sufficiently long time series in ecology are scarce. The research presented here analyzes a long-term data set collected by the Hungarian Forest Research Institute over the period 1961-2009. The number of hectares with visible defoliation was estimated and documented for several forest insect pest species. This resulted in a unique time series that provides us with the opportunity to compare insect damage trends with trends in weather patterns. Data were analyzed for six lepidopteran species: Thaumetopoea processionea, Tortrix viridana, Rhyacionia buoliana, Malacosoma neustria, Euproctis chrysorrhoea, and Lymantria dispar. All these species exhibit outbreak dynamics in Hungary. Five of these species prefer deciduous tree species as their host plants, whereas R.buoliana is a specialist on Pinus spp. The data were analyzed using general linear models and generalized least squares regression in relation to mean monthly temperature and precipitation. Temperature increased considerably, especially over the last 25years (+1.6 degrees C), whereas precipitation exhibited no trend over the period. No change in weather variability over time was observed. There was increased damage caused by two species on deciduous trees. The area of damage attributed to R.buoliana decreased over the study period. There was no evidence of increased variability in damage. We conclude that species exhibiting a trend toward outbreak-level damage over a greater geographical area may be positively affected by changes in weather conditions coinciding with important life stages. Strong associations between the geographical extent of severe damage and monthly temperature and precipitation are difficult to confirm, studying the life-history traits of species could help to increase understanding of responses to climate change.

Authors/Creators:Klapwijk, Maartje and Csóka, György and Hirka, Anikó and Björkman, Christer
Title:Forest insects and climate change: long-term trends in herbivore damage
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and evolution
Year of publishing :2013
Page range:4183-4196
Number of Pages:14
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons, Wiley Open Access, European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE)
Additional Information:Published with permission of John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Open Access
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F40 Plant ecology
K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:Herbivory, Hungary, Lepidoptera, Moths, Precipitation, Temperature, Weather
Keywords:Herbivory, Hungary, Lepidoptera, moths, precipitation, temperature, variability, weather
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000326286700012
ID Code:11053
Faculty:LTJ - Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science (until 2013)
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Mar 2014 15:03
Metadata Last Modified:08 Sep 2017 08:11

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