European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus is an important driver of ecological processes in spruce stands, with severe effects on forestry economies. To prevent bark beetle outbreaks, early detection of infestations is a crucial step in forest management. It is expected that bark beetle infestation modifies biochemical composition of wood and needles, alters physiological responses in the early stage of infestation, which results in the reduction of tree growth and ultimately a tree death. Therefore, we studied the differences in biochemical composition of wood, content of photosynthesis-related pigments, shoot morphology, and growth between the healthy Siberian spruce trees (Picea obovata) and trees which were infested by I. typographus. The study was performed in five experimental plots established in the south of the Udmurt Republic in the European part of the Russian Federation. Three infested and three non-infested trees were chosen on each plot. Our results showed no significant effect of bark beetle infestation on the content of main structural components of wood – holocellulose (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin. On the other hand, we found differences in the content of extractive substances in the wood. Specifically, we found a higher tannin content in the non-infested trees. The content of photosynthesis-related pigments differed between the non-infested and infested trees as well. Unexpectedly, bark beetle infestation caused the overproduction of both pigment types rather than their degradation. Moreover, we observed that a higher amount of total extractive substances positively affected the incremental growth, whereas tannins supported the growth of shoots and needles.

Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other