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Title: Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest: bark beetle responses to differences in forest structure and the application of prescribed fire in interior ponderosa pine

Author: Fettig, Christopher J.; Borys, Robert R.; McKelvey, Stephen R.; Dabney, Christopher P.;

Date: 2008

Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38:924-935

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Mechanical thinning and the application of prescribed fire are commonly used tools in the restoration of fire-adapted forest ecosystems. However, few studies have explored their effects on subsequent amounts of bark beetle caused tree mortality in interior ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex P. & C. Laws. var. ponderosa. In this study, we examined bark beetle responses to creation of midseral (low diversity) and late-seral stages (high diversity) and the application of prescribed fire on 12 experimental units ranging in size from 76 to 136 ha. A total of 9500 (5.0% of all trees) Pinus and Abies trees died 2 years after treatment of which 28.8% (2733 trees) was attributed to bark beetle colonization. No significant difference in the mean percentage of trees colonized by bark beetles was found between low diversity and high diversity. The application of prescribed fire resulted in significant increases in bark beetle caused tree mortality (all species) and for western pine beetle, Dendroctonus brevicomis LeConte, mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, Ips spp., and fir engraver, Scolytus ventralis LeConte, individually. Approximately 85.6% (2339 trees) of all bark beetle caused tree mortality occurred on burned split plots. The implications of these and other results to sustainable forest management are discussed.

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Fettig, Christopher J.; Borys, Robert R.; McKelvey, Stephen R.; Dabney, Christopher P. 2008. Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest: bark beetle responses to differences in forest structure and the application of prescribed fire in interior ponderosa pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38:924-935.

 


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