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Title: Monitoring limber pine health in the Rocky Mountains and North Dakota

Author: Burns, Kelly; Blodgett, Jim; Jackson, Marcus; Howell, Brian; Jacobi, William; Schoettle, Anna; Casper, Anne Marie; Klutsch, Jennifer

Date: 2011

Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 47-50.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Ecological impacts are occurring as white pine blister rust spreads and intensifies through ecologically and culturally important limber pine ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas. The imminent threat of mountain pine beetle has heightened concerns. Therefore, information on the health status of limber pine is needed to facilitate management and restoration efforts. The objectives of this study were to: (1) evaluate the health of limber pine in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota, (2) establish monitoring plots to assess cumulative ecological impacts of blister rust and other damaging agents over time, and (3) gather baseline information needed to sustain, protect, and restore impacted stands. Eighty-three long-term monitoring plots were established in limber pine stands in 2006 and 2007. Most surveyed limber pines were classified as healthy (74 percent), while 19 percent were declining or dying, and 7 percent were dead. White pine blister rust and twig beetles were the most common damages observed. Evidence of recent mountain pine beetle activity was observed in 19 percent of all plots but mortality levels were low. Average plot incidence of white pine blister rust was greatest in the north and decreased southward except in ND where the disease was not detected. Limber pine regeneration was present in most plots but levels of blister rust infection on regeneration were fairly low. Mountain pine beetle populations have increased substantially since this study was initiated. Since blister rust rapidly kills young trees and bark beetles kill mature trees, their combined impacts could be significant.

Keywords: high elevation five-needle pines, threats, whitebark, Pinus albicaulis, limber, Pinus flexilis, southwestern white, Pinus strobiformis, foxtail, Pinus balfouriana, Great Basin bristlecone, Pinus longaeva, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, Pinus aristata

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Citation:


Burns, Kelly; Blodgett, Jim; Jackson, Marcus; Howell, Brian; Jacobi, William; Schoettle, Anna; Casper, Anne Marie; Klutsch, Jennifer. 2011. Monitoring limber pine health in the Rocky Mountains and North Dakota. In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 47-50.

 


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