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(thicker trees have thicker phloem, and thus more food) and trees under stress (e.g., injured, diseased, or suffering from drought, and thus offering less resistance to attack).
We found that the number of I. sexdentatus captured from forest outside and forest edge was significantly higher than those from forest interior. Previous studies have shown that compared with the forest-interior environment, solar incidence on the edges brings about an increment in light intensity and it’s duration and, therefore, both soil and air temperatures can be both higher and more variable (Wales, 1972; Ranney et al., 1981; Lovejoy et al., 1986; Williams-Linera, 1990; Brothers and Spingarn, 1992). Bark beetle development is directly affected by phloem temperature, which in turn is dependent on air temperature and direct solar radiation (Wermelinger and Seifert, 1999). Therefore, sunlit trees are preferably attacked, especially after abrupt increases in solar radiation levels (Jakuš, 1998; Lobinger and Skatulla, 1996; Wermelinger, 2004).
In this study, body length of the pest was used to characterize I. sexdentatus populations in relation to the breeding sites (forest edge and forest interior). Body length of I. sexdentatus was significantly higher on trees along the forest edges than those in forest interior. Grodzki (2004) conducted a research on a similar subject concerning closely related I. typographus on Picea abies (Linneaus). Grodzki (2004) indicated that the reaction of I. typographus populations to better environmental conditions is expressed as an increase in the infestation density on trees and greater body length of beetles (Grodzki, 2004).
I. sexdentatus is distributed naturally throughout Europe, Northern Asia, South and Southeast Asia. Forest fragmentations and forest edges influence the abundance and body length of the pest in its distribution range because they may alter forest structure, species composition, biodiversity, microclimate, physical and chemical properties of soil. In this study, we examined the edge effects of P. nigra forests on abundance and body length of I. sexdentatus. We revealed that forest edges may contribute to I. sexdentatus population increases and also cause increase in body length of the pest.
This study is funded by the Scientific Research Projects Committee of Kastamonu University with the project number KUBAP-01/2012-09.
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