Premature abscission of older Sitka spruce foliage on trees within forests in Northern Ireland was compared with green spruce aphid population levels 2 to 3 months earlier. Each aphid has a lower relative impact on needle loss at higher aphid population density; nevertheless, more aphids on a tree results in greater rates of needle loss. Evidence from horizontal stem increment sequences suggested that aphid feeding inhibited incremental growth, and that this inhibition might be delayed for up to two field seasons. However, the effect of aphids on stem growth in most years and on most trees seems relatively small compared with the potential of other tree- or year-specific processes.
|Journal||Annals of Applied Biology|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Dec 1991|