Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2022-50
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2022-50
 
13 Jun 2022
13 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Meteorological and climatological triggers of past and present bark beetle outbreaks in the Czech Republic

Rudolf Brázdil1,2, Petr Zahradník3, Péter Szabó4,5, Kateřina Chromá2, Petr Dobrovolný1,2, Lukáš Dolák1,2, Miroslav Trnka2,6, Jan Řehoř1,2, and Silvie Suchánková4 Rudolf Brázdil et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 2Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 3Research Institute of Forestry Economics and Gamekeeping, Jíloviště, Czech Republic
  • 4Department of Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 5Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 6Department of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract. Based on documentary evidence, a chronology of bark beetle outbreaks in the Czech Republic from 1781 to 1963 CE was created, continuing from 1964 through 2021 by bark beetle salvage felling data. The spatial distribution of bark beetle events concentrates on the border mountains of Bohemia and in the northern parts of Moravia and Silesia. The temporal distribution of the most important bark beetle outbreaks concentrates in the 1830s, 1870s, 1940s–1950s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Each of these calamities was analysed in detail with respect to their spatial extent, the volume of damaged wood, and their meteorological patterns. While meteorological triggers of the largest outbreaks of the 19th century were attributed especially to the slow procession of disastrous volumes of damaged wood after large windstorm events sometimes intensified by dying trees in subsequent dry years, the recent warming moves the main meteorological and climatological triggers to more frequent warm and dry meteorological patterns from the 1980s, sometimes enhanced by uprooted and broken trees after heavy windstorms. The last bark beetle outbreak from 2015 was evaluated as the most disastrous disturbance to spruce forest over the territory of the Czech Republic in documented history. The paper also discusses uncertainties in bark beetle data, responses to past bark beetle events, and relationships between environment, climate, and bark beetle outbreaks.

Rudolf Brázdil et al.

Status: open (until 08 Aug 2022)

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Rudolf Brázdil et al.

Rudolf Brázdil et al.

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Short summary
Bark beetle outbreaks represent important disturbances to Norway spruce forests. Their meteorological and climatological triggers are analysed for the main oubreaks over the territory of the Czech Republic based on newly created series of such outbreaks, covering the long period from the 18th to 21st century. The paper demonstrates the shift from windstorms as the main meteorological triggers of past outbreaks to those triggered dominantly by high temperatures and droughts in past decades.