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Publication Information

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Title: Limber pine conservation strategy: Recommendations for Rocky Mountain National Park

Author: Cleaver, Christy M.; Schoettle, Anna W.; Burns, Kelly S.; Connor, J. Jeff;

Date: 2015

Source: In: Ramsey, Amy; Palacios, Patsy, comps. Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Western International Forest Disease Work Conference; 2015 Sept. 21-25; Newport, OR: Olympia, WA: Washington Department of Natural Resources. p. 81-82.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Description:

Limber pine (Pinus flexilis), designated by Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) as a Species of Management Concern, is a keystone species that maintains ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity in the park. In RMNP, limber pine is declining due to the interacting effects of recent severe droughts and the climate-exacerbated mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak, and is imminently threatened by the invasion of the non-native pathogen (Cronartium ribicola) that causes the lethal disease white pine blister rust (WPBR) in five-needle white pines. Loss of limber pine will likely lead to cascading ecological impacts and loss of biodiversity in RMNP and surrounding area if impacts are not mitigated. This strategy is the outcome of collaboration between RMNP, Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) and Forest Health Protection (FHP). It addresses the unique situation of limber pine in RMNP and the Southern Rockies. It recommends proactive conservation actions specific to the Southern Rockies based on knowledge from the RMNP/RMRS/FHP program and other research that provides site-based information before ecosystem impairment by WPBR. It focuses on timing specific monitoring efforts and interventions to sustain healthy limber pine populations and ecosystems during invasion and naturalization of WPBR and thereby putting limber pine on a trajectory that does not lead to ecosystem impairment in the future.

Keywords: limber pine, Pinus flexilis, conservation, climate, mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosa, invasive species, Cronartium ribicola, white pine blister rust

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Citation:


Cleaver, Christy M.; Schoettle, Anna W.; Burns, Kelly S.; Connor, J. Jeff. 2015. Limber pine conservation strategy: Recommendations for Rocky Mountain National Park. In: Ramsey, Amy; Palacios, Patsy, comps. Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Western International Forest Disease Work Conference; 2015 Sept. 21-25; Newport, OR: Olympia, WA: Washington Department of Natural Resources. p. 81-82.

 


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