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Title: Insects of whitebark pine with emphasis on mountain pine beetle

Author: Bartos, Dale L.; Gibson, Kenneth E.

Date: 1990

Source: In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings-symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: Ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: Few insects that live on whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) are considered pests or potential pests. Those that inhabit cones can cause reductions in reproduction of the tree by destroying seed crops. Decreases in food for animals ranging from squirrels to grizzly bears may also result.

A single insect species, mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) (MPB), may cause serious damage to whitebark pine over much of its range by killing mature trees. Through periodic epidemic outbreaks, the resultant tree killing causes reductions in seed cones and so decreases food supplies for various animals. Excessive mortality of whitebark pine can lead to increases in other tree species, and decreases in whitebark pine, in some future stands.

A survey of MPB damage in the whitebark pine zone was conducted in Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin National Forest, and Flathead National Forest from 1983 to 1988. Preliminary results show 22 to 44 percent of the whitebark pine had been killed by MPB during the recent past. Losses were strongly related to elevation-decreasing mortality with increasing elevation. Losses were heaviest in the lodgepole pine-whitebark pine ecotone. Implications of such losses are discussed.

Keywords: whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis, mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Citation:


Bartos, Dale L.; Gibson, Kenneth E. 1990. Insects of whitebark pine with emphasis on mountain pine beetle. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings-symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: Ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. p.

 


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