German Forests Plagued by Insects and Fungi
By Adnan Mahfuz
Despite rising temperatures and dry weather, Germany is contemplating long-term plans to preserve vegetation and forests.
There is no alternative but to adapt to the changing situation by planting mixed forests and different plant species.
Other species of trees are also being damaged due to dry weather. Many beech trees are suffering from bark disease. A fungus called Diplodia is killing the tree, and the larch bark beetle is attacking the larch tree.
A part of the forest of Hesse state has been significantly damaged. About 30,000 Sycamore trees have been quickly cut down across 20 hectares. Only a few remnants remain.
A fungus from North America caused the plants to develop a disease called ‘Sooty Burke Disease’. The fungus grows under the bark of the tree. When the trees become weak due to lack of sufficient water, the fungus spreads rapidly, and a black layer about one-centimeter thick form. The fungus can cause severe allergic reactions in humans.
The local forest official and his colleagues had to walk through the jungle for several weeks wearing unique breathing masks. Jorge Hesler, a forest official, said: “This is a very sad incident because there has never been such a catastrophe in Germany. There are some isolated trees in the city park.
But after the deadly summer of 2018, there is so much damage going on here that it may cause a complete disaster. “
Jorge Hessler has planted coastal grand fir, pine, and red oak trees in some parts of his forest area. He hopes that such trees will be able to adapt more quickly to the current climate.
But new species of trees are already in trouble. “The oak problem has started because of a special kind of moth,” said Jorge Hessler. While we are not entirely sure about this, it cannot ignore. “
He has 20 water reservoirs ready to keep the seedlings alive. He has been using them for a long dry season. He will know soon whether it is working or not.
As a Forest Department official, Petra Westphal hopes to tackle the Burke Beetle from the sky. Forestry scientists and drone experts are working together to create a driverless aerial vehicle with a gas sensor. The sensor will detect the smell of resin when the Bark Beetle attacks a tree.
“What the Bark Beetle does, we’re doing the same,” said Sebastian Pachakowski, a forest expert. The insect sniffs the smell and enters the infected tree, and makes a hole. And we are trying to identify the tree and remove it. “
This initiative aims to cut down the tree in the first stage before the beetle breeds. However, the detector drone is not yet fully ready for sale. Petra Westfall is optimistic about this drone “Using this technology, we can identify faster, more affected trees,” he said that way, we can save more trees. “
The number of beetle-infested spruce tree trunks along the forest path is increasing because the demand for spruce wood in the market is limited. If the trunk of the tree remains in the forest, the breeding of insects will continue. That is why the regional administration has instructed using pesticides. But the problem is, other animals are dying as a result.
To prepare for future climate change, Petra Westphal wants to create a mixed forest by natural laws. In other words, the number of seeds will increase by spreading the tree. In that case, it expects that different species of trees will grow. “It’s important that in the future if a particular species of tree is destroyed by climate and insects, other species will be planted to fill the gap,” said Petra Westphal.
Even experts aren’t sure what the future jungle will look like. Spruce and beech trees in the middle of Germany are difficult to survive due to climatic conditions. By 2070, they will probably have disappeared from the jungles of Germany.