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Impacts Of The Invasive FourEyed Fir Bark Beetle (Polygraphus Proximus Blandf.) On Siberian Fir (Abies Sibirica Ledeb.) Forests In Southern Siberia


The emergence and spread of non-native invasive forest insects represent a major potential threat to global biodiversity. The present study examines the current invasion of the far eastern four-eyed fir bark beetle Polygraphus proximus Blandf. in southern Siberian fir (Abies sibirica Ledeb.) forests. We collected data on 38 large sized (2500 m²) sample plots, situated in fir forests of the Tomsk region. As a direct result of the four-eyed fir bark beetle infestation, stand density decreased by 34-37%, and stand volume by 30%. The mean height, individual age and diameter at the stand level consequently increased. Our results indicated that stands with complete left-sided or normal ontogenetic structure (composed primarily of late virginal firs or firs in young reproductive stage) are more resistant to invasion by the four-eyed fir bark beetle. By contrast, fir forests characterized by more right-sided ontogenetic structure (composed primarily of mature and old reproductive firs), exhibited the least resistance and, with rare exception, degraded rapidly in response to the invasion. Our results also pointed to a mechanism that initiates invasions of the four-eyed fir bark beetle in fir stands of all types of ontogenetic structure, which is the attack of virginal trees and trees in early reproductive stages. Trees up to average diameter are the most susceptible to invasions of the bark beetle. We identified thicker bark, larger DBH and low occurrence of heart rot as the most important parameters for indicating resistance at the single tree level. DBH and bark thickness (p<0.05) correlated significantly with tree health status in infested stands. Our overall assessment of the potential natural regeneration of damaged stands is that the Siberian fir forests are resilient to invasive species and that the fir ecosystems can potentially recover from this disturbance.

About the Authors

Nikita M. Debkov
Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Aleksey A. Aleinikov
Center of Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Alexander Gradel
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Anatoly Yu. Bocharov
Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Nina V. Klimova
Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Gennady I. Pudzha
National Research Tomsk State University
Russian Federation


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For citation:

Debkov N.M., Aleinikov A.A., Gradel A., Bocharov A.Y., Klimova N.V., Pudzha G.I. Impacts Of The Invasive FourEyed Fir Bark Beetle (Polygraphus Proximus Blandf.) On Siberian Fir (Abies Sibirica Ledeb.) Forests In Southern Siberia. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2019;12(3):79-97.

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