7.03.06 - Integrated management of forest defoliating insects
The Unit aims to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience on the ecology of forest defoliators, with emphasis on population ecology and dynamics, including genetics and demographic studies, effects of climate change and invasive defoliator species. A further aim is to exchange knowledge on new detection and monitoring technology, including remote sensing and novel population control methods.
Defoliators are among the most destructive group of forest insects. Their population dynamics is frequently characterized by occasional and cyclic outbreaks, leading to intense defoliation of vast forest areas. Additionally, a number of forest defoliators become invasive at a regional scale, menacing natural and planted forests in all continents. Some of these species also cause human health problems due to their urticating hairs. Climate change has further impacts on spatial of distribution defoliator species and causes phenology changes. The Unit aims to enhance knowledge on the ecology of forest defoliators in its multiple aspects. Monitoring and control methods for defoliator insects, with emphasis on novel technologies, biological control methods and the new usage of semiochemicals are further relevant aspects.