Current climate change will affect the abiotic and biotic environment for trees and forests. Higher temperatures not only favor tree growth but also the development of pest species such as bark beetles. The most important pest in European coniferous forests is the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus).
The projected shift of precipitation into wintertime will more often lead to drought stressed trees in summer which makes them susceptible to bark beetle attack. Possibly, storms will become more frequent or severe, providing the defenseless timber where bark beetle populations can build up.
Since spruce makes up 34 % of the growing stock in Switzerland and spruce forests often have protective function in the mountains, this pest insect will probably become even more important in the future.
2009 - 2014