Canopy recovery of pedunculate oak, Turkey oak and beech trees after severe defoliation by gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar): Case study from Western Hungary

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Abstract

We investigated the canopy recovery of 3 tree species (pedunculate oak, Turkey oak, European beech) at two locations in the Veszprém county (Western Hungary) after severe defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars in the spring of 2005. The Turkey oak has evidently the best recovery potential, and it almost completely replaced the lost foliage in 4 months. The pedunculate oak and beech needed 2 years to reach the same level of recovery. The pedunculate oak suffered from a heavy infection of Microsphaera alphitoides after defoliation and it probably slowed down its recovery. Neither the presence of Agrilus biguttatus in the oak plot nor the appearance of Agrilus viridis in the beech plot was observed during the study period. Population density of the buprestid Coraebus floerentinus showed a considerable increase in the oak plot, but remained under the damage level. Neither other harmful appearance of other pests nor significant tree mortality were observed within 4 years from the defoliation. These results provide information for the evaluation of longer term influences of the gypsy moth defoliation and may support the decisions concerning pest control.

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Central European Forestry Journal

The Journal of National Forest Centre – Forest Research Institute Zvolen

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