Current issue: 55(4)
Under compilation: 55(5)
Over 20% of regeneration operations will be on drained peatland in the next decade in Finland. There are only a few studies comparing the planting success and the risk of pine weevil (Hylobius abetis (L.) feeding damage on mineral soil and drained peatland. Thirty sites planted with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) container seedlings in 2009 in Southern and Central Finland were inventoried three growing seasons after planting. Prediction models for the probability of survival, pine weevil damage and the presence of ground vegetation cover were done separately for peatland and mineral soil sites. The planting success was 17% lower on peatland sites (1379 surviving seedlings ha–1) than on mineral soil (1654 seedlings ha–1). The factors explaining the survival were the ground vegetation cover and type of the planting spot on the peatland, and the ground vegetation cover on mineral soil. On mineral soil, 76% of the planting spots were on cultivated mineral soil while on peatland only 28% of the seedlings were planted on similar spots. There were also fewer seedlings that were surrounded by dense ground vegetation on mineral soil (4%) than on peatland (14%). Pine weevil feeding damage did not differ significantly on peatland (23%) or mineral soil (18%). The more time there was from clear-cutting, the more the probability of pine weevil feeding damage was reduced on both soil classes. Additionally, cover vegetation in the vicinity of the seedlings increased on mineral soil. Cultivated planting spots, especially those covered by mineral soil, prevented pine weevil feeding and reduced the harmful effects of vegetation on the seedlings both on mineral soil and peatland.
Forests are affected by climate change in various ways. This includes abiotic factors such as droughts, but also biotic damage by pest insects. There are numerous examples from cases where pest insects have benefitted from longer growing seasons or from warmer summers. Similarly, new pest insects have been able to expand their range due to climatic conditions that have changed from hostile to tolerable. Such seems to be the case with the nun moth (Lymantria monacha), an important defoliator of coniferous trees in Europe. For centuries, the species has had massive outbreaks across Central-Europe, while it has been a rare inhabitant in Northern Europe. Recently, the nun moth population in Finland has not only expanded in range, but also grown more abundant. This research note describes the results from the first years (2018–2019) of a monitoring program that is being conducted with pheromone traps across central and southern Finland. So far, the northernmost individuals were trapped near the 64 N degrees. However, there were more southern locations where no moths were trapped. The species was present in every trapping site below the latitude of 62 N degrees. More importantly, at some sites the abundance of the nun moth suggested that local forest damage may already occur. Given the current climatic scenarios for Fennoscandia, it is likely that the nun moth populations will continue to grow, which is why systematic surveys on their abundance and range expansions will be topical.