All forests are subjected to some level of insect damage, and outbreaks can typically be linked to a few notorious pest species. Forest diversity is postulated to benefit the abundance and diversity of herbivorous insects, which is in turn thought to have a positive effect on the abundance and diversity of natural enemies. For this relationship to be relevant for pest-control, the predation pressure should increase with increasing forest diversity. Forest management could have an effect on the risk of damage through direct or indirect relationships with biotic and abiotic factors.
The aim of this research project is to identifying such relationships in managed boreal forests, by studying the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) and the European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer). Knowledge about this will contribute to more efficient methods to mitigate the risk and damage of pest insect outbreaks.