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  • Karttunen, Toni (2014)
    Urban forests of Helsinki city are managed in multiple ways and several forest values are taken into account in forest management. Strong forest management actions that change the forest landscape radically have been done quite seldom, which has increased the proportion of old forests. The risk of spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) outbreaks is often evident especially in older Norway spruce (Picea abies) forests of low vitality. In the winter of 2011 to 2012 storms caused windfalls in some areas of the urban forests in Helsinki city, which increased the risk of spruce bark beetle outbreaks even more. The objective of this study was to assessment the risk of spruce bark beetle outbreaks in the urban forest of Helsinki city and present future forest management recommendations to control the spruce bark beetle damage. Monitoring with pheromone baited traps was used as the main investigation method. Results were compared with spruce bark beetle risk estimates found in literature. Other factors affecting the risk of spruce bark beetle, for example the amount of living Norway spruces infested with the spruce bark beetle, were observed as well. Monitoring with pheromone traps was carried out with 36 traps in three regions in Helsinki Central Park and in one region in Herttoniemi between 6th of May and 4th of July in 2013. Pheromone trap model, WitaTrap Multi Funnel, and pheromone bait Ipsowit® Standard were manufactured by Witasek company. Altogether 79 210 spruce bark beetles were trapped. According to the monitoring results the risk of spruce bark beetle can be high in one region in Central Park area. Living Norway spruces infested by the spruce bark beetle were found in two regions and also in one area outside the investigation area. Based on the results the areas with greatest risk to spruce bark beetle damage were the neighboring areas of previous damage as well as forests with suitable breeding material for the spruce bark beetle. The risk can also be high in Norway spruce forests of low vitality and in recently formed, sun-exposed forest edges dominated by Norway spruce. Forest management recommendations in short time interval to control the spruce bark beetle risk are as follows 1) forest monitoring and removal of spruce bark beetle infested live Norway spruces before Midsummer, 2) observation of storm damage and removal of large diameter Norway spruce windfalls as a rule, 3) monitoring the weather conditions and 4) following national announcements related to the spruce bark beetle risk status. Forest management recommendations for longer time interval are phased regeneration fellings of risk prone Norway spruce forests and changing the forest structures more resistant to spruce bark beetle damage in the future.