Forestry aspects and Faunistics of the bark beetles in South Tyrol (Coleoptera, Scolytidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:K. Hellrigl
Journal:Forest Observer
Date Published:2012
:Scolytus rugulosus, Xyleborus dispar

This paper gives a summary overview on the forestry aspects of the bark beetles in South Tyrol within their faunistic framework. The faunistic data are based on previously reports from South Tyrol by Gredler (1866-1898), Peez & Kahlen (1977), Kahlen (1987) and Hellrigl (1975-2002), supplemented with recent reports and findings by the Author. The present check-list for South Tyrol comprises 104 taxa of bark beetles, of which 92 species have been established (including 85 endemic and 7 imported species), whereas the occurrence of 12 species means doubtful or conjectural. The number of species listed has nearly doubled during the last 110 years, since Gredler's listing. Compared with South Tyrol, 76 species of bark beetles have been recorded in North Tyrol; whereas for East Tyrol, 60 species have been confirmed. The basis of the Forestry aspects is formed by the Author's research work over several decades (1966-2011), documented by his collection of bark beetles. The number of species of bark beetles that appeared frequently in South Tyrolean forests over the past 45 years, amounts to only 48 (underlined in the listing); only few of these species did repeatedly cause damages to trees. In the case of conifer bark beetles, infestation is usually the result of lightning strikes, wind-pressure or snow- pressure or drought; or, not infrequently, following pre-damaging fungus diseases. The yearly reports of wood damaged by conifer bark beetles amount to c. 8,000-16,000 m3; this is moderate, considering a total wooded area of 336,000 ha. [long dash] From deciduous tree bark beetles, some like Scolytus rugulosus and Xyleborus dispar, appear as pests in fruit-tree cultures; whereas at the end of last century damage was caused by "elm bark beetles" (Scolytus sp.), especially in urban areas, in connection with a fungus disease ("Elm disease").

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