På flera ställen när vi har kört här uppe norr om polcirkeln har vi stött på område, ja faktiskt hela dalar, där det ser ut som om det har farit fram en skogsbrand. Men när vi tittar lite noggrannare så verkar det som om det bara är fjällbjörken som har brunnit. Som vanligt så vänder vi oss till Google (vad gjorde man innan man kunde googla?).

Nej, det har inte brunnit utan det är den bladätande Björkmätarlarven som har farit fram. Björkmätaren är en fjäril, vars larver lever av att äta björkblad. Under en kort tid på sommaren äter larverna löv runt omkring i fjällområdet innan de sedan förpuppar sig. På vissa ställen kan stora områden bli helt kalätna av larverna. I allmänhet återhämtar sig skogen, även om det kan ta ganska många år. Men i vissa fall, om angreppen pågår i flera år, så kan det bli så att skogen delvis dör.

Tydligen brukar Björkmätarens kalätningar ske ungefär vart tionde år, men på grund av varmare vintrar verkar kalätningarna förekomma oftare, säger de som har studerat den här lilla gynnaren.

Vi är lite bekymrade över detta och Martin pratar med några damer från Norrland, om hur de ser på det hela. Har det blivit mer med åren och kommer björkarna att återhämta sig? – Nej, nej det är så här varje höst förklarar de, bladen gulnar och trillar av, men till våren kommer de tillbaks igen, det hör liksom till….. Nej, det är ju klart att bara för att man är från Norrland så innebär det inte att man kan allt om skog och natur, även här finns det stadsbor.

Så långt ögat når är fjällbjörken mer eller mindre helt avlövad av Björkmätarlarven
Så långt ögat når är fjällbjörken mer eller mindre helt avlövad av Björkmätarlarven

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