Skip to content

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Running EU-funded research projects

Dolomiti Live

ITAT4153 — Distribution and population dynamics of the European spruce bark beetle in the Dolomites (DolomIPS2)

The European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus is one of the most important forest pests in Europe. In addition to factors such as a high reproduction potential and the formation of several generations per year, a high supply of suitable breeding material and the association with fungi and bacteria are responsible for its harmful potential. At the end of 2018, large parts of the spruce forests in the Dolomiti Live area were affected by heavy rain and snowfalls that caused further forest damage in the following year. These damaged areas offer ideal conditions for the development and growth of the bark beetle leading to enormous ecological and economic damages in the region.

One focus of the project is to deepen the knowledge already acquired (“DolomIps” project) about the associations of bark beetle populations with symbiotic bacteria and fungi. Another focus will be on the extensive genetic characterization and assessment of the distribution dynamics of bark beetle populations in the Dolomiti Live area. The third research area is to deal with the evaluation and prediction of damage to the European spruce bark beetle using remote sensing methods. The three focal points of the project will provide important knowledge to better understand the biology, ecology and the harmful potential of this important pest species in the Dolomiti Live area.

Principal InvestigatorHannes Schuler — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration:01/02/2021 - 31/10/2022
Project Partner: BOKU Vienna, University of Padova 

 

ITAT4132 — The role of bacteria and fungi in the population dynamics of the European spruce bark beetle in the Dolomites (DolomIps)

In autumn 2018, the storm "Vaia" caused severe damage to spruce forests in the Alpe-Adria region. In addition, heavy snowfall caused further severe damage in autumn 2019. Due to the high supply of damaged spruce trees, there is a large amount of material suitable for the European spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus.

Due to this multiplication potential, severe damage is to be expected in spruce forests, which will subsequently result in high economic and ecological losses. In addition to the high reproduction potential, the association with fungi and bacteria might be responsible for the aggressiveness of bark beetles.

In this project, the fungal and bacterial symbionts of the European spruce bark beetle will be examined using modern DNA sequencing methods. Beetle populations from all three Alpe-Adria regions will be sampled and genetically analysed. The results will be compared with other European populations to determine the overall genetic structure and spread of the European spruce bark beetle and its associated fungi and bacteria. The results will help to better understand the aggressiveness and damage potential of this bark beetle and thus contribute to a more accurate prediction. Subsequently, the data will lead to a more effective management of this bark beetle.

Principal InvestigatorHannes Schuler — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/07/2020 - 31/12/2021
Project Partner: BOKU Vienna (Lead Partner), University of Padova 

Loghi

Feedback / Request info