The Government has approved the expenses charged to future budgets of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food to contract a technical work that will serve for progress in the fight against a plague that attacks the cork oaks of Catalonia.
Specifically, this study will serve for the characterization of pheromonal extracts of the cork cork (Coroebus undatus) and of the American pine bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis), for the synthesis of certain pheromones, for advice on the integrated control of other forest pests and for the dissemination of the results of the work carried out. In total, a total amount of 154,263.72 euros will be allocated to these works.
The cork cork (Coroebus undatus) is an insect that affects the cork oak (Quercus suber) and causes very considerable losses to the quality and value of the cork. The larvae of this insect excavate galleries in the generative layer of the tree which means that the leaves of the affected trees cannot be used to make caps and must be dedicated to crushing. The corkscrew is combated with pheromone traps to attract and capture the males in June and July and even with nets placed on the trunk of the cork trees to capture the adults when they emerge. Cork oak forests occupy around 68,000 hectares in Catalonia.
The fight against new affects
The Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food works to minimize the risks of pests that affect forests in Catalonia, and which are of great environmental, social and economic importance.
The corkscrew digs tunnels inside the cork, which makes it useless for the cork industry in Catalonia. Cork is a strategic product, since its worldwide distribution area is limited to the Iberian Peninsula and the western Mediterranean area. The cork oaks are a typical Mediterranean forest, of great environmental and economic importance. Its distribution was favored by humans during the 19th and 20th centuries due to its economic importance. Cork forests where management is abandoned are replaced by other types of forests, such as pine forests. For its persistence, it is important to ensure sustainable management.
One of the effects of climate change on forests is the constant appearance of new species that cause damage, whether native insects or exotic species. The research work is essential to find out what the evolution of their populations can be and the damage they can cause, and the possible preventive measures.
Source: Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of the Generalitat of Catalonia