, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 112-120

Population dynamics of beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga) (Coccina, Pseudococcidae) related to physiological defence reactions of attacked beech trees (Fagus sylvatica)

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Changes in the density of beech scale infestation (Cryptococcus fagisuga) of a mature beech stand (Fagus sylvatica) were investigated after gap-cutting in limed and unlimed areas bordering on the gaps and in untreated areas over a 5-year period. Parallelly the concentrations of sucrose, protein amino acids, and procyanidins were examined in the inner and outer bark of non-infested beech trees and beeches infested by beech scale.

Irrespective of liming in the areas bordering on the gaps the proportion of beech trees with increasing beech scale infestation was significantly higher, the proportion of beeches with diminishing infestation was significantly lower than in the untreated control areas. Trees with the same infestation tendency occurred in clusters.

Physiological defence reactions in the inner and outer bark of the infested beech trees were registrated as an increase in the procyanidin content and a decrease in the protein amino acid content. A change in the outer bark—inner bark—ratio of the infested beech trees showed a transfer of compounds between the inner and outer bark. During the period of observation long-lasting shifts occurred in the pattern of compounds of the bark irrespective of actual infestation intensity.