Abstract: Synchrony and geographical variation of the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) during a non-epidemic period

B. Økland & O.N. Bjørnstad


Spatio-temporal analyses of non-epidemic bark beetle populations may provide insight in dynamics predisposing for outbreaks. The present article presents a spatio-temporal analysis of the population dynamic of Ips typographus based on pheromone trap data from southeast and mid-Norway in the post-epidemic period 1979- 2002. The analyses include regression analyses, hierarchical cluster analysis, and analysis of spatial synchrony of beetle time series and climatic data by means of nonparametric spatial covariance functions. The mean abundance of beetles declined linearly with latitude. In addition, the time series means were higher in areas with high forest productivity and rocky soils predisposed to drought. The time series patterns differed significantly between northern and southern study areas. The regional synchrony of the time series was fairly high (0.38), indicating that some large-scaled climatic factor may influence the dynamics. Windfelling was the external variable showing the most parallel pattern of correlation to the beetle dynamics. We thus posit that large windfall events may be a major instigator and synchronizer of beetle outbreaks in areas subjected to regionalized weather systems.