Given the serious infestations by the xylophagous beetle Ips sexdentatus Börner, which is killing hundreds of pines in the Grosseto Province, NEXT Genomics proposes 3 joint lines of intervention for the protection of the pinewood inside the "Cieloverde" camping area. The objectives are to constantly check the population dynamics of the pest, to limit its demographic growth in the surrounding areas and to create repellent barriers to protect the camping area.
Specifically, NEXT Genomics offers the following activities for the period April-December 2016:
execution of phytosanitary surveys within the property "Cieloverde", to be performed extensively or at the request of the campsite managers, in order to promptly record all the plants showing signs of the presence of I. sexdentatus or symptoms of other debilitating causes; all plants presenting these symptoms will be georeferenced. This activity, to be combined with correct forest hygiene (phytosanytary felling), will significantly reduce the population density of the insect. Moreover, such surveys will allow to verify the presence / absence of other harmfulinsects (Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse, Dioryctria sylvestrella Ratzeburg, Pissodes castaneus De Geer, Tomicus destruens Wollaston), which contribute, together with I. sexdentatus, to the decline of the pine forests of Grosseto. In the event that outbreaks worthy of intervention are observed, the most appropriate monitoring/containment actions will be proposed;
creation of a "containment belt ", through the installation along the southwest property borders (outside of which the worst pest infestations are present) of 25 bark beetle traps (Theysohn model) baited with dispensers of the aggregation pheromone specific for I. sexdentatus. The positioning and baiting of the traps will take place according to according to the target species and the characteristics of the territory. The traps will be placed in such a way as to form a capture area with the aim of eliminating as many adult insects as possible which currently infest thepublic pine forest between the dune and the property of "Cieloverde". The purpose of this activity is to progressively reduce the population density of the insect while avoiding that it spreads in the surrounding pine forests. The pheromone dispensers will be replaced every 50 days, for a total of 5 substitutions during the insect activity period. The catches will be analyzed in the laboratory to obtain data useful for the realization of a flight curve. During the reproductive cycle of the species, according to each trapcatches, the possibility of modifying the orientation and distribution of the 25 traps will be evaluated in order to adapt the "containment belt" to the progression of the infestations;
creation of an experimental "repellence barrier", through the placement of dispensers containing verbenone, a volatile substance interpreted by the insect as a sign of overcrowd ed host plants. Verbenone, in fact, is present in the excrements of bark beetles (like I. sexdentatus) and in cases where this substance is present in high concentrations it naturally induces the withdrawal of the insect. This substance, tested with good results in North America and Europe, will create a mild repellent barrier in the area of application, with the aim of deterring the arrival of adults in search of plants susceptible to attack. The barrier will be created by applying the dispensers on the trunk of the pines with a density of about 50 dispensers per hectare bordering thestone pine portion of the campsite forest , i.e. the most valued one. Based on the interpretation of the flight curves resulting from the catches in the "containment belt", the appropriate times for the placement/replacement of dispensers will be established. In any case, the placement of 3 batches of dispensers per year is required, in order to cover the most critical periods. Parallel to the field experimentation, laboratory analyzes will be carried out to verify the output of the dispensers (materials used, doses and diffusion of the product, etc.) so as to perfect their functioning each time they are used in the pinewood.
With the participation of
NEXT GENOMICS S.R.L
DISPAA (Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Agroalimentari e dell’Ambiente) dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze, Sezione di Patologia Vegetale e Entomologia