Ecological Methods in Forest Pest Management by David Wainhouse



Bibliographic Information:
Title: Ecological Methods in Forest Pest Management
Editor: David Wainhouse
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Length: 249 pages
Size: 4.03 MB
Language: English



This book is about the management of forest pests and aims to provide a critical appraisal of the theory and practice of key methods of management. These include, for example, semiochemicals, biological or microbial control and plant resistance. The appropriate application of these ‘ecological methods’ in the development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes depends on a clear understanding of pest biology and population dynamics, as well as an appreciation of the ecology and economic importance of managed forests. The extensive management of forests is often contrasted with intensive management in agriculture where IPM programmes have the aim of reducing insecticide use. But in forestry, where chemical pesticides are much less commonly applied, the main impetus for the development of IPM comes from the need to use environmentally sensitive and sustainable methods of control appropriate to both semi-natural and plantation forests. Such forests are increasingly likely to be managed for multiple puposes. As well as timber production therefore, maintaining or enhancing biodiversity and providing for public recreation and amenity are likely to be important objectives of management.

Amajor theme throughout the book is that details of pest ecology and of forest ecology and management matter in the application of IPM. The general bias towards examples of IPM from north temperate forests largely reflects coverage in the literature. However the principles, and to a large extent the practice, are applicable worldwide. Books with a particular emphasis on tropical pests include Wagner et al. (1991) and Speight and Wylie (2001).

Many of the examples and case studies relate to insect pests, but the term ‘pest’ is used in its widest sense to include fungal pathogens and brief reference is also made to mammalian herbivores. This inclusive approach is helpful for example in illustrating different aspects of resistance, reinforcing the point that resistance mechanisms are often effective against different kinds of organisms. A wider discussion of forest pests is particularly convenient when considering bark beetles (Scolytidae) because some of the most significant ones can vector pathogenic fungi, an association that affects both their population dynamics and their impact on forests. Possible interaction between organisms can also be an important consideration in the management of forests. For example, silvicultural operations may increase the incidence or spread of disease-causing organisms and, as a consequence, pedispose trees to attack by insect pests.

Forests in many countries have been altered by exploitation and management and by the increasing use of plantations of exotic species for wood production. The species composition, distribution and extent of forests and the way they are managed can have an important influence on the nature and severity of pest problems and these are considered in Chapter 1. The increasing use of plantations of non-native trees in different countries and the globalisation of trade have significantly increased the risk of introducing exotic pests. The devastating effects that such pests can have on these plantations has highlighted the importance of regulating international trade in plants and plant products, a subject considered in Chapter 2. Spatial and temporal variation in pest attack can occur on a local or regional scale. Differences in the age or species composition of forests or the direct effects of site and climate on both trees and pests can contribute to this variation and may be used in the development of indices of risk. Risk-rating of forests and monitoring of pest populations in those most at risk can provide an early warning of outbreaks. Chapter 3 explores such approaches to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of pest management in extensive forest areas.




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