Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

Title: Forest development and carbon dynamics after mountain pine beetle outbreaks

Author: Hansen, E. Matthew.;

Date: 2014

Source: Forest Science. 60(3): 476-488.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Mountain pine beetles periodically infest pine forests in western North America, killing many or most overstory pine stems. The surviving secondary stand structure, along with recruited seedlings, will form the future canopy. Thus, even-aged pine stands become multiaged and multistoried. The species composition of affected stands will depend on the presence of nonpines and outbreak severity, among other factors, and can range from continued dominance by pines to hastened conversion to more shade-tolerant species. The loss of mature host trees results in reductions of ecosystem carbon productivity. The surviving and recruited stems, however, grow more quickly in response to the reduced competition, and carbon productivity and live basal area recover to preoutbreak levels within a few years or decades. Infestations may result in system carbon storage reductions, relative to storage among undisturbed developmental trajectories, mostly because of the temporary decrease in carbon productivity. Carbon losses in infested stands are slow as a result of recalcitrance of snags and coarse woody debris. Recalcitrant dead pools combined with recovering live pools results in fairly stable total ecosystem carbon storage among infested stands. Infested stands may switch from net carbon sinks to net carbon sources but typically recover within 5-20 years.

Keywords: forest recovery, carbon productivity, carbon storage, bark beetle impacts, disturbance ecology

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Hansen, E. Matthew. 2014. Forest development and carbon dynamics after mountain pine beetle outbreaks. Forest Science. 60(3): 476-488.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.