The project aims to build a 1+15+1 team, the core of an excellent team, to be a part of the R&D centre when the project comes to the end. The project helps us to set up necessary, modern infrastructure – enabling to gain other international projects.
The team is focused on solving current/future challenges triggered by climate change in forest ecosystems of the Czech Rep., and on looking for scientific solutions for protection of forests as carbon sinks. The project emphasizes the most disturbing aspects (bark beetle and related abiotic factors – mainly the climatic extremes) on three levels:
|Project Name||Building up an excellent scientific team and its spatio-technical background focused on mitigation of the impact of climatic changes to forests from the level of a gene to the level of a landscape at the FFWS CZU Prague|
|Shorted Project Name||EXTEMIT-K|
|Project Number||CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/ 15_003/0000433|
|Beneficiary||Czech university of Life Sciences Prague – Faculty of Forest and Wood Sciences|
|Investigator||prof. Ing. Marek Turčáni, PhD.|
|Total Resources||246 016 958,53 CZK|
|71,35 % EU Contribution||175 533 099,90 CZK|
|23,65 % Public Resources||58 183 010,69 CZK|
|5 % Own Financing||12 300 847,94 CZK|
|Project Implementation Date||01/12/2016 – 30/06/2023 (dd/mm/yyyy)|
|Grantor||Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport|
|Operational Programme Title||Operational Programme Research, Development and Education|
|ID and Title of The Priority Axis||PA 1 – Strengthening capacity for high-quality research|
|Investment Priority||IP 1 – Enhancing research and innovation (R&I) infrastructure and capacity to develop R&I excellence, and promoting centres of competence, in particular those of European interest|
|ID and Title of The Call||02_15_003 - Excellent Research Teams|
Forests are critical biotic elements that may act as vital carbon sinks but could become carbon sources if disrupted or improperly managed. The challenge is most acute for northern conifer forests and maybe most critical in the Central Europe regions. At the same time, the science of biology is undergoing what may be its largest revolution since Darwin; the many facets of molecular biology now emerging. Our proposal endeavours to use these new methods in harmony with the applied science needed to manage forests. We will study genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics together with proven genetics and metabolomics (chemical ecology) and theory of plant-insect interactions, mainly for two bark beetles. We work on the conifer tree-beetle interactions at three levels of scale: Gene, Tree, and Landscape. Among studies, we will first sequence the genome of the Ips typographus, which will be first used for functional analysis of olfactory receptor proteins (de Fouchier et al., 2016; Andersson et al., 2013). Factors for tree resistence (Schiebe et al., 2012) will be observed directly and by remote sensing and physio-chemically manipulated, while landscape polycultures’ resilience will be modelled and improved by increased semiochemical diversity. These and the in total 18 tasks in the project, will allow testing the Semiochemical Diversity Hypothesis (Raffa et al., 2016; Zhang Schlyter, 2003).
We will use the new knowledge to fine-tune our mechanistic understanding of beetle-tree relations, in particular those providing promising leads for innovation and management.
The topic is timely but also very challenging, as shown in 2015/2016 when two prestigious journals, Science and Forest Ecology and Management, both allotted theme issues on forest health and management under the impact of global warming. A further warning was given on the risk of underestimation of global tree mortality from droughts in the Anthropocene by Allen et al. (2015). We see the challenging aspect by the fact that in all cases, while the many potential problems were very well described, little of new management tools, or prospects of their development, were presented.
The project has not only an ambition to bring new scientific results but also to address societal needs. We will additionally analyse these results and try to find subsequent applications in promising cases, e.g. how to bring new chemical substances and materials, technological procedures and patents to the practise in relatively short time. Such outcomes allow the mitigation pest hazards to forest stands made more vulnerable by climatic change. In order to start with fundamental research with results feeding into application, we have applied principle of complex team building during the project. The research team will consist of a combination of excellent young and more senior scientists both experienced in fundamental research, but have also senior scientists experienced in applied research.
Among practical application results may belong: Several new methods for short- and medium-long term diagnostics and forecasting of tree health, allowing well-planned sanitary cuts to remove low health trees preventively. New active semiochemicals are in the pipeline, mainly anti-attractants for better management of Ips typographus. Commercially viable smaller service companies could practically implement establishment and adaptation of snifferdogs for detection of new bark beetle attacks, integrated with real-time remote sensing of thermal emission. Knowledge basis of forest diversity effects for input to legislative and political processes, with the goal to find balance between forest production and long-term sustainability in conditions of climate change. Consequently, the project will have long-term impact for forest management; to increase resilience by non-host tree species in conifer forest landscapes. We plan to bring application of unique combinations and doses of the anti-attractants and pheromones allowing active protection of target stands without impact to surrounding stands. Development of new protection methods for critically endangered for bark beetles attacks (new forest edges) via decreasing of attractivity (combination of shadowing and anti-attractants).
However, the applicable project outputs goes beyond the results mentioned above. Substantial outputs of the project will also be information, significantly changing views of the public towards forests and landscape management in close future. Preparation of legislative documents, politico-socio-economic analysis, and strategies based on the project results will be a starter of substantial changes in the management of the forests. Thus, funds invested to the project will bring profit not only from the creation of an excellent team equipped by high quality laboratory instruments. They will also bring positive impact to the public, forest and landscape management, and valuable information for political decisions.
de Fouchier A, Walker III WB, Montagné N, Steiner C, Binyameen M, Schlyter F, Chertemps T, Maria A, François M-C, Monsempes C, Anderson P, Hansson BS, Larsson MC, Jacquin-Joly E (2016) Functional evolution of Lepidoptera olfactory receptors revealed by deorphanization of a moth repertoire. Nature CommunicationsNCOMMS-16-26750. doi:
Raffa KF, Andersson MN, Schlyter F (2016) Host selection by bark beetles: Playing the odds in a high-stakes game. In: Blomquist G, Tittinger C (eds), Advances in Insect Physiology. Vol. 50, Elsevier Ltd., pp 1–74. 10.1016/bs.aiip.2016.02.001 ISBN 0065-2806
Allen CD, Breshears DD, McDowell NG (2015) On underestimation of global vulnerability to tree mortality and forest die-off from hotter drought in the Anthropocene. Ecosphere 6: 1-55. doi:
Andersson MN, Grosse-Wilde E, Keeling CI, Bengtsson JM, Yuen MMS, Li M, Hillbur Y, Bohlman J, Hansson BS, Schlyter F (2013) Antennal transcriptome analysis of the chemosensory gene families in the tree killing bark beetles, Ips typographus and Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). BMC Genomics 14: 198. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-198 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/14/198
Schiebe C, Hammerbacher A, Birgersson G, Witzell J, Brodelius P, Gershenzon J, Hansson BS, Krokene P, Schlyter F (2012) Inducibility of chemical defences in Norway spruce bark is correlated with unsuccessful mass attacks by the spruce bark beetle. Oecologia 170: 183-198. doi: DOI 10.1007/s00442-012-2298-8
Zhang Q-H, Schlyter F (2003) Redundancy, synergism, and active inhibitory range of non-host volatiles in reducing pheromone attraction in European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. Oikos 101: 299-310. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.111595.x