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  • Author: I. Skrzecz x
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Current problems of forest protection concern the declining health of forest stands due to climate change and the resulting extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, hurricane winds, heavy rainfalls and floods. Repeated impacts of these factors increase susceptibility of forest stands to pest insects and fungal pathogens. Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] H. Karst) is sensitive to high air temperatures and water shortage. Long lasting droughts during the last two decades, have been one of the reasons behind Norway spruce dieback due to severe outbreak of European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus (L.) in the mountainous regions of southern Poland. In the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands, water balance disorders have enhanced the colonization of weekend trees by steelblue jewel beetle Phaenops cyanea (F.) and engraver beetle Ips acuminatus (Gyll.), as well as contributed to the spread of fungal diseases caused by Gremmeniella abietina (Lagerb.) Cenangium ferruginosum Fr. and Sphaeropsis sapinea Fr. fungi. Water related stress leads to weakening of oak stands, which are attacked by Agrilus spp. beetles and pathogens from the genus Phytophthora. It is possible that long lasting droughts initiated the spread of infectious ash disease caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (= Chalara fraxinea), which resulted in the epidemic of ash dieback throughout Europe. Until recently, the use of plant protection products was the most common method of forest protection against pest insects and pathogens. Poland’s accession to the European Union has affected the marketing and use of plant protection products in the country. The implementation of the EU legislation (Directive 91/414/EEC, Directive 2009/128/ EC and Regulation No 1107/2009) has resulted in decreased assortment of pesticides registered for the protection of forests. High costs and long registration process considerably limited the interest of producers in placing the plant protection products on the market. Systematic decrease in the number of plant protection products possible to register for use in forestry, as well as the principles of integrated plant protection established in the EU in 2014 call for seeking plant protection methods based on the natural enemies of pests, such as pathogenic microorganisms, parasites and predators. Therefore, contemporary forest protection requires the advancement of integrated methods for pest insect and disease control through developing methods of forecasting forest dangers, the use of natural enemies and agro-technical methods for regulation of pests, as well as the development of decision support systems as a tool facilitating introduction of integrated forest protection principles. Such support systems help to establish optimal terms for the implementation of protection measures, so as to increase their efficiency while limiting the use of chemical pesticides to an absolute minimum.


Tree stumps provide habitat for insect assemblages, which are influenced by various factors. Among these factors, physical and chemical changes of the stumps, fungi developing in the dead wood and stump size are most often reported. However there is limited information about the abundance of insects in stumps that are located on mountains where there are different microclimatic conditions. The studies pointed at the determination whether the location of Picea abies stumps in mountains at different altitudes above sea level and on mountainsides with different sun exposure has an impact on the frequency of insects colonising them. The study was carried out in the Eastern Sudety Mountains situated in south-western Poland. The stumps were in clearcuts located at the altitudes 600–700 m and 900–1000 m above sea level and on southern and northern mountainsides. The insects were collected from 0.05 m2 of bark from each stump and identified to the family, order or species level. The numbers of insects in the stumps were modelled with the use of the Poisson distribution or the negative binomial distribution and the generalised linear models. Picea abies stumps were colonised by insects from 16 families in 3 orders (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera) in which the Coleoptera was most frequently represented by the families Cerambycidae, Curculionidae (with the sub-family Scolytinae). In the stumps located at the elevation of 900–1000 m there were 28% more insects than in the stumps at 600–700 m. The stumps located on mountainsides with northern exposure were colonised more abundantly by Cerambycidae. Numbers of Curculionidae in the stumps were affected by altitude. Most Curculionidae were found in the stumps located at the elevation 900–1000 m above sea level. The interaction of altitude and mountainside exposure showed more insects in the stumps at higher altitude, regardless of the mountainside exposure. The results showed that the total number of insects in the stumps was influenced by their location in mountains.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the possibility of using botanic antifeedants to reduce the damage caused by Melolontha spp. grubs. To achieve the objective, the experiments were established in semi-field conditions to estimate the antifeedant activity of rutin, quercetin (flavonoids from buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum) and an extract from black alder Alnus glutinosa leaves against Melolontha melolontha grubs. The grubs were placed individually in the pots with a soil in which 2 year old Pinus sylvestris trees were planted. The pots were put in garden pavilions placed in the open area. Then the soil in the pots were watered with the emulsions of rutin, quercetin, an extract from A. glutinosa leaves, and with pure water-comparative variant. After 4 months, the weight and mortality of grubs were compared, as well as the weight of tree roots in all pots.

There was no effect of the antifeedants on the development and extent of damage caused by M. melolontha grubs. The results do not indicate the use of botanic antifeedants in the protection of forests against the cockchafer grubs


Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) plantations and thickets damaged by biotic and abiotic factors are particularly attractive to small-banded pine weevil Pissodes castaneus, whose larvae excavate feeding tunnels in the stems of young trees, causing their death. There are no chemical methods that can be applied to protect forest plantations and thickets against this pest. Therefore, the studies were undertaken aimed at the assessment of the efficacy of alpha-cypermethrin used to reduce the numbers of this pest within restock areas. The scope of work included laboratory and field estimation of insecticidal activity of alpha-cypermethrin.

In laboratory, the beetles of P. castaneus were reared on P. sylvestris twigs treated with five concentrations of alpha-cypermethrin (0.0001–1%) formulated as Fastac Forest 15 SC. Insect mortality was calculated during 7-day rearing and median lethal concentration LC50 was calculated. The field treatments consisted of spraying of four-year old Scots pines with the insecticide in concentrations of 2% and 4%.

In laboratory conditions, the insecticide used at five different concentrations caused a 7–95% mortality of the beetles (LC50 = 0.266%), while field sprays resulted in a 1.5–3.5-fold reduction in the colonization of trees and in higher pest mortality rates.

The results indicate the possibility of using of alpha-cypermethrin in protecting the forest against P. castaneus and can be the basis for the development of chemical method used in the forestry practice.


The paper presents the history of legal changes regarding forest protection in Poland and the development of forest protection services Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004 has affected the marketing and the use of plant protection products (PPPs) in the country. The implementation of the EU legislation (Directive 91/414/EEC) has resulted in a decline in the assortment of pesticides registered for use in agriculture, and in forestry. This situation resulted from the limited interest of producers in placing PPPs on the market. Furthermore, limitations in the aerial application of PPPs have been introduced, which has consequences for the protection of the forest, where aerial treatments are often the only way to reduce the number of pests. On the other hand, the introduction of integrated pest management (also in forestry) confirmed the adequacy of activities carried out in the State Forest National Forest Holding, where, for many decades, the prevention methods have been used to increase the resistance of stands and the multi-stage Decision Support System (DSS) is used to select the optimal protective method.


Presented study is part of a project aimed at identifying entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species and analysing their distribution in various habitats of Poland. Here, an attempt was undertaken to determine intraspecific variability of nematodes of the species Steinernema feltiae isolated from seven different localities in central and southern Poland. Molecular characteristic and phylogenetic analysis was performed based on nucleotide sequences in the ITS region.

Research on the occurrence of EPNs in Poland have been conducted since the 1990s but there is still no data verified genetically, as well as data on the intraspecific variability of isolates Steinernema feltiae. This paper reports initial results of intraspecific variability Steinernema feltiae in Poland.


Small banded pine weevil Pissodes castaneus is one of the most dangerous pests of Pinus sylvestris plantations and thickets. The lack of effective and environmentally safe methods of limiting the number of the pest justified to undertake the studies aimed at the laboratory and field evaluation of biological activity of entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana used to reduce the numbers of small banded pine weevil.

In laboratory, the beetles were reared on the sections of fresh Scots pine twigs that were treated with five suspensions containing from 1 × 104 to 1 × 108 conidia of B. bassiana in 1 ml. During the 3-week rearing, insect mortality was determined and median lethal concentration LC50 was calculated. The field treatments consisted of spraying 4-year-old P. sylvestris trees with two formulations of fungus containing 1 × 108 conidia ml−1 of suspension. Treatments consisted of spraying 4-year-old P. sylvestris trees with two fungus formulations containing 1 × 108 conidia ml−1.

High insecticidal activity of B. bassiana was found because the pathogen caused the death of 14-94% of P. castaneus beetles, LC50 = 6.51 × 105 conidia ml−1. Field treatments did not result in the reduction of plant damage caused by small banded pine weevil; therefore, the spraying of trees with B. bassiana cannot be recommended to protect the young stands of P. sylvestris against pest.


This study reports the first record of Steinernema kraussei from Poland. The nematode was isolated from coniferous woodlands in 4 localities in central Poland. Preliminary identification of the species was done based on morphometric measurements. To confirm nematode species of the genus Steinernema the result was supported by the description of the ITS region.