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Reconstruction of Stand History and Impact Evaluation of an Invasive Bark Beetle in Siberian Fir Forests with the Help of Spatial Structure Analysis

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N.M. Debkov, A. Gradel, A.A. Aleinikov

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The most devastating insect invasion of forest ecosystems in Russia is the recent mass reproduction of the four-eyed fir bark beetle (Polygraphus proximus Blandf.) in southern Siberian fir (Abies sibirica Ledeb.) forests. The objective of our research was to study the spatial structure of fir forests and their change under the impact of the four-eyed fir bark beetle in its secondary (invasive) distribution range. We selected two fir stands located near the villages of Itatka and Malinovka in the Tomsk region. Both stands represent natural ripe succession forests on sites that previously experienced logging activities, which were triggered by settlement activities in the second half of the nineteenth century. We used Field-Map technology for gathering non-spatial and spatial stand data. The analysis showed that height, diameter and radial increment of fir trees, killed or severely weakened by attacks of the four-eyed fir bark beetle, were significantly lower than that of healthy individuals. The social status of fir trees, seriously attacked or already killed by Polygraphus proximus was indicated by the Ui index as moderately suppressed. In contrast to the distribution pattern of living firs, the pattern of dead or severally weakened firs killed by the four-eyed fir bark beetle was significantly clumped over short distances (sample plots (SP) Itatka and Malinovka). This finding coincides with visual observations in other stands, that dead trees are grouped to some extent. However, the hypothesis of spatial independence of the tree positions of living and dead firs was accepted for both plots.


N.M. Debkov1,2, Candidate of Agriculture, Researcher; ResearcherID: H-1146-2019,
A. Gradel3,4, PhD, Forestry Consultant; ResearcherID: AAK-1808-2020,
A.A. Aleinikov5, Candidate of Biology, Senior Research Scientist; ResearcherID: K-1285-2017,


1Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, prosp. Akademicheskiy, 10/3, Tomsk, 634055, Russian Federation; e-mail:
2National Research Tomsk State University, prosp. Lenina, 36, Tomsk, 634055, Russian Federation; e-mail:
3International Forestry Consultancy Gradel, Jakobstraße 12, 02826 Görlitz, Germany; e-mail:
4Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
5Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Profsoyuznaya, 84/32, str. 14, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation; e-mail:


insect invasions, Polygraphus proximus Blandf., Abies sibirica Ledeb., tree mortality, spatio-temporal characteristics


The research was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the government of Tomsk region, grant No. 16-44-700782, and carried out as part of a state assignment of the Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences (No. АААА-А18-118052400130-7).

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Debkov N.M., Gradel A., Aleinikov A.A. Reconstruction of Stand History and Impact Evaluation of an Invasive Bark Beetle in Siberian Fir Forests with the Help of Spatial Structure Analysis. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Russian Forestry Journal], 2020, no. 3, pp. 24–41. DOI: 10.37482/0536-1036-2020-3-24-41


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Reconstruction of Stand History and Impact Evaluation of an Invasive Bark Beetle in Siberian Fir Forests with the Help of Spatial Structure Analysis


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