Bark beetle outbreaks have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of conifers on approximately 30 million hectares of forested lands in western North America during the last decade. Many forests remain susceptible to bark beetle infestation and will continue to experience high levels of conifer mortality until suitable host trees are depleted, or natural factors cause populations to collapse. Stand conditions and drought, combined with warming temperatures, have contributed to the severity of these outbreaks, particularly in high-elevation forests.

Conventional wisdom suggests that large scale bark beetle outbreaks alter fuel complexes resulting in an increased potential for severe fires. Conversely, fires damage trees that may predispose them to bark beetle attack. In reality there is little specific quantified data supporting these assertions, and until recently, relationships between fire and western bark beetles in forests of North America have not been extensively studied. The magnitude of recent outbreaks and large wildfires has resulted in a flurry of research attempting to quantify bark beetle/fire/fuel interactions.
 
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2005

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Basic Principles of Forest Fuel Reduction Treatments, James K. Agee and Carl N. Skinner; Forest Ecology and Management

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Multiple disturbance interactions and drought influence fire severity in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests, C. Bigler, D. Kulakowski, and T. T. Veblen; Ecology

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Regional Vegetation Die-Off in Response to Global-Change-Type Drought, David D. Breshears, Neil S. Cobb, Paul M. Rich, Kevin P. Price, Craig D. Allen, Randy G. Balice, William H. Romme, Jude H. Kastens, M. Lisa Floyd, Jayne Belnap, Jesse J. Anderson, Orrin B. Myers, and Clifton W. Meyer; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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Attack and Brood Production by the Douglas-Fir Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae) in Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Pinaceae), Following a Wildfire, Catherine A. Cunningham, Michael J. Jenkins, and David W. Roberts; Western North American Naturalits

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Forest Fuel Treatments in Western North America : Merging Silviculture and Fire Management, Morris C. Johnson and David L. Peterson; The Forestry Chroncle

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Estimating forest canopy bulk density using six indirect methods, R. E. Keane, E. D. Reinhardt, J. Scott, K. Gray, and J. Reardon; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

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Utah Forest Insect and Disease Conditons Report 2002-2004, K Matthews, V DeBlander, L Pederson, P Mocettini, and D Halsey

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Root Diseases in Coniferous Forests of the Inland West : Potential Implications of Fuels Treatments, Raini C. Rippy, Jane E. Stewart, Paul J. Zambino, Ned B. Klopfenstein, Joanne M. Tirocke, Mee-Sook Kim, and Walter G. Thies

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Standard Fire Behavior Fuel Models : A Comprehensive Set for Use with Rothermel's Surface Fire Spread Model, Joe H. Scott and Robert E. Burgan

2004

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Forest restoration and fire: Principals in the context of place, R. T. Brown, J. K. Agee, and J. F. Franklin; Conservation Biology

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Risk and Damage of Southern Pine Beetle Outbreaks Under Global Climate Change, Jianbang Gan; Forest Ecology and Management

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Science Basis for Changing Forest Structure to Modify Wildfire Behavior and Severity, Russell T. Graham, Sarah McCaffrey, and Theresa B. Jain

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Snow avalanche disturbance in intermountain spruce-fir forests and implications for the spruce bark beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae), Elizabeth G. Hebertson

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Is Forest Structure Related to Fire Severity? Yes, No, and Maybe : Methods and Insights in Quantifying the Answer, Theresa Benavidez Jain and Russell T. Graham; Silviculture in Special Places: Proceedings of the 2003 National Silviculture Workshop

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Fuel Treatments and Fire Regimes : Final Report, Philip N. Omi and Erik J. Martinson

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Interaction of Fire, Fuels, and Climate Across Rocky Mountain Forests, Tania Schoennagel, Thomas T. Veblen, and William H. Romme; BioScience

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Importance of Log Size on Host Selection and Reproductive Success of Ips pini (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Ponderosa Pine Slash of Northern Arizona and Western Montana, Brytten E. Steed and Michael R. Wagner; Journal of Economic Entomology

2003

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Interactions Between Fire and Spruce Beetles in a Subalpine Rocky Mountain Forest Landscape, Peter Bebi, Dominik Kulakowski, and Thomas T. Veblen; Ecology

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Effect of climate change on range expansion by the mountain pine beetle in British Columbia, Allan L. Carroll, Steve W. Taylor, Jacques Regniere, and Les Safranyik; Pages 223-232 in T.L Shore et al. (eds) Mountain Pine Beetle Symposium: Challenges and Solutions, Oct. 30-31, 2003. Kelowna BC. Natural Resources Canada, Infromation Report BC-X-399, Victoria

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Assessing canopy fuel stratum characteristics in crown fire prone fuel types of western North America, M. G. Cruz, M. E. Alexander, and R. H. Wakimoto; International Journal of Wildland Fire

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Vegetation Dynamics Under Fire Exclusion and Logging in a Rocky Mountain Watershed, 1856 -1996, Alisa L. Gallant, Andrew J. Hansen, John S. Councilman, Duane K. Monte, and David W. Betz; Ecological Applications

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Utah Forest Health Report : A Baseline Assessment 1999 - 2001, Colleen Keyes, Paul Rogers, Leon LaMadeleine, Vick Applegate, and Dave Atkins; Utah Forest Health Report : A Baseline Assessment 1999 - 2001

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Effects of Fire and Spruce Beetle Outbreak Legacies on the Disturbance Regime of a Subalpine Forest in Colorado, Dominik Kulakowski, Thomas T. Veblen, and Peter Bebi; Journal of Biogeography

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Effects of Douglas-fir Beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) infestations on forest overstory and understory conditions in western Wyoming, J. D. McMillin and K. K. Allen; Western North American Naturalist

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Tree-Ring Reconstruction of Western Spruce Budworm Outbreaks in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A., Daniel E. Ryerson, Thomas W. Swetnam, and Ann M. Lynch; Canadian Jorunal of Forest Research