This study is a joint project with the TU Munich, the Chair of Animal Ecology and the Chair of Environmental Atmospheric Research and the IMK-IFU.
Forest insects infestations severely impact ecosystem function and dynamics. Beyond the ecological impacts, timber losses, increased fire risk, reduced forest productivity lead to a large economic disprofit. The insects epidemic on carbon dynamics is largely unknown.
Windfall areas are especially susceptible for bark-beetle attack. In the National Parks of Bavaria, Germany, specific windfall areas in Norway spruce forests (Picea abies) have been selected for studying bark beetle (e.g. Ips typographus) spread out, energy and carbon dynamics.
The deepened process understanding of bark beetle colonization dynamics in windfall areas will serve as a basis for a sound risk assessment of insect attack in neighboring forests. Such a data base is needed for optimizing management strategies to mitigate bark beetle epidemics possibly leading to a more sustainable and ecological forest management turning wind fall areas faster from a carbon source into a carbon sink.