On increasing relevance of thermophilic pests in forests using the example of bark beetles:
In the course of climate change, forest ecosystems are likely to face changes in abiotic as well as biotic factors. Especially the long-term production cycles of forests present challenging conditions regarding the development of appropriate adaptation strategies.
The occurrence of forest pests will be affected by changing climate conditions indirectly as well as directly. Thus, forest pests could migrate to previously uninfected regions or the relevance of forest pests itself could shift. Due to their mode of life, their thermophilic traits and their high reproductive potential bark beetles (Coleoptera; Scolytidae) are assumed to benefit from a changing climate.
Extreme weather events, such as drought and heat periods, could elevate the predisposition of their host trees. In succession of storms a higher amount of breeding material is available; in the case of favorable environmental conditions this is able to promote mass reproduction.
The population dynamics of bark beetles itself are affected by climate change as well. Earlier swarming, increasing reproduction rates, fastened development and the development of additional generations and sister broods have already been recognized in the course of very warm years.
The early assessment of future risks and the development of flexible forest management strategies are major tasks in order to prevent increasing forest pest risks in future.