Bark Beetle Population Dynamics in the Anthropocene: Challenges and Solutions

Peter H.W. Biedermann, Jörg Müller, Jean Claude Grégoire, Axel Gruppe, Jonas Hagge, Almuth Hammerbacher, Richard W. Hofstetter, Dineshkumar Kandasamy, Miroslav Kolarik, Martin Kostovcik, Paal Krokene, Aurélien Sallé, Diana L. Six, Tabea Turrini, Dan Vanderpool, Michael J. Wingfield, Claus Bässler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Tree-killing bark beetles are the most economically important insects in conifer forests worldwide. However, despite >200 years of research, the drivers of population eruptions and crashes are still not fully understood and the existing knowledge is thus insufficient to face the challenges posed by the Anthropocene. We critically analyze potential biotic and abiotic drivers of population dynamics of an exemplary species, the European spruce bark beetle (ESBB) (Ips typographus) and present a multivariate approach that integrates the many drivers governing this bark beetle system. We call for hypothesis-driven, large-scale collaborative research efforts to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of this and other bark beetle pests. Our approach can serve as a blueprint for tackling other eruptive forest insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-924
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • bark beetle
  • biotic interactions
  • forest insect pest
  • global change
  • population dynamics
  • symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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