Canadian Forest Service Publications

Susceptibility of northern British Columbia forests to spruce budworm defoliation. 2001. Alfaro, R.I.; Taylor, S.P.; Brown, R.G.; Clowater, J.S. Forest Ecology and Management 145: 181-190.

Year: 2001

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18267

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Stand susceptibility to defoliation by spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.), was examined in the Fort Nelson area of the Prince George Region of British Columbia. In a retrospective study, defoliation maps of the study area were overlaid onto British Columbia Ministry of Forests cover type maps using a geographic information system. Analysis of the combined data identified forest characteristics associated with increased susceptibility to defoliation by spruce budworm. These were stands where the leading species was white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), or where spruce was associated with aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx. and P. balsamifera L.) in mixed stands. Susceptibility to defoliation also was related to site quality, level of crown closure and stand age. Spruce stands on medium quality sites (site index 15 to 25m, at reference breast height age 50 years) were more susceptible than stands on both poor- and high-quality sites. When spruce was mixed with aspen, stands on higher quality sites were more susceptible to budworm attack than poor sites. Open stands, where crown closure was <50%, were more susceptible to attack by spruce budworm than closed canopy stands. Older stands (120-199 years) were more susceptible to budworm attack than younger stands (40-110 years). In defoliated plots monitored for 6 years, tree mortality and top-kill reached a maximum of 30.4 and 47.2%, respectively. The losses varied with level of defoliation and were reduced by applications of the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis. Crown Copyright © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.