07 Jun 2022
07 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) infestation cause up to 700 times higher bark BVOC emission rates from Norway spruce (Picea abies)

Erica Jaakkola1, Antje Gärtner1, Anna Maria Jönsson1, Karl Ljung2, Per-Ola Olsson1, and Thomas Holst1 Erica Jaakkola et al.
  • 1Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, 223 62, Sweden
  • 2Department of Geology, Lund University, Lund, 223 62, Sweden

Abstract. Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) from the bark of Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees can be affected by stress, such as infestation of spruce bark beetles (Ips typographus). We studied the difference in emission rates from healthy spruce bark and infested spruce bark, the influence of time since spruce bark beetle infestation started and the difference in emission rates from bark beetle drilled entry holes and exit holes. Bark chamber measurements on both healthy trees and infested trees were performed during the summer of 2019 at two sites in Sweden. To consider the seasonal pattern of the spruce bark beetle, we divided the emission rates from infested trees into two seasons, an early season dominated by entry holes and a late season with mainly exit holes. Our findings show a significant difference in emission rates from healthy and infested trees, independent of season. The seasonal average standardized emission rate from healthy trees was 31.89 ± 51.67 μg m-2 h-1 (mean ± standard deviation), while the average standardized emission rates from infested trees were 6385 μg m-2 h-1 and 2102 μg m-2 h-1 during early and late season respectively. We also found an exponentially decreasing relationship with BVOC emission rates and time since infestation started where the emission rates reached the same level as the constitutive BVOC emission rates from bark after around one year. When comparing bark monoterpene BVOC emission rates with emission rates from needles, we found that the constitutive needle emission rates were 11 times higher than the constitutive bark emissions. However, the emission rates from infested Norway spruce tree bark were instead 6 to 20 times higher than the constitutive needle emissions, causing substantial increases in the total tree BVOC emission rate (550 % to 1900 % increase). This study adds evidence that spruce bark beetle induced bark BVOC emissions are higher than previously thought and highlights the need for further research with more samples more frequently throughout the season to fully understand the impact, which is required to quantify spruce bark beetle infestations impacts on the atmospheric chemistry and climate change.

Erica Jaakkola et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-125', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Jun 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Erica Jaakkola, 10 Aug 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-125', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Erica Jaakkola, 10 Aug 2022

Erica Jaakkola et al.

Erica Jaakkola et al.


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Short summary
Increased spruce bark beetle outbreaks was seen recently in Sweden. When Norway spruce trees are attacked, they increase their production of volatile compounds, attempting to kill the beetles. We provide new insights to how the Norway spruce act when infested, and found the emitted volatiles to increase up to 700 times and saw a change in compound blend. We estimate that the 2020 bark beetle outbreak in Sweden could have increased the total monoterpene emissions from the forest by more than 10 %.