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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2002

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Climate Change and the Outbreak Ranges of Two North American Bark Beetles, David W. Williams and Andrew M. Liebhold; Agricultural and Forest Entomology

2001

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Spruce Beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) Outbreak in Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannil) in Central Utah, 1986-1998, Alan D. Dymerski, John A. Anhold, and Allen S. Munson; Western North American Naturalist

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Temperature-Based Model for Predicting Univoltine Brood Proportions in Spruce Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae), E. Matthew Hansen, Barbara J. Bentz, and David L. Turner; Canadian Entomologist

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Thinning of Mature Lodgepole Pine Stands Increases Scolytid Bark Beetle Abundance and Diversity, Trevor D. Hindmarch and Mary L. Reid; Canadian Jorunal of Forest Research

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Wildfire Regime in the Boreal Forest and the Idea of Suppression and Fuel Buildup, E A. Johnson, K Miyanishi, and SRJ Bridge; Conservation Biology

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Ghost Forests, Global Warming, and the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae), Jesse A. Logan and James A. Powell; American Entomologist

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Mixed Messages Across Multiple Trophic Levels: The Ecology of Bark Beetle Chemical Communication Systems, Kenneth F. Raffa; Chemoecology

2000

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Fire in Western Forest Ecosystems, Stephen F. Arno; Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Effects of Fire on Flora

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Survivability and Deterioration of Fire-Injured Trees in the Northern Rocky Mountains : A Review of the Literature, Gregg DeNitto, Bill Cramer, Ken Gibson, Blakey Lockman, Tim McConnell, Larry Stipe, Nancy Sturdevant, and Jane Taylor; USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Forest Health Protection, Report #2000-13

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Disturbances of Plant Communities : Spruce Bark Beetle Infestation, C Moss-Walker and L Thomas

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Within-Stand Spatial Distribution of Tree Mortality Caused by the Douglas-Fir Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae), Jose F. Negron, John A. Anhold, and Steve Munson; Environmental Entomology

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Assessment and Response to Bark Beetle Outbreaks in the Rocky Mountain Area, Safiya Samman and Jesse Logan

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Disturbance Patterns in Southern Rocky Mountain Forests, Thomas T. Veblen; Forest Fragmentation in the Southern Rocky Mountains

1999

Forest health and protection, James K. Agee, Robert L. Edmonds, and Robert I. Gara; McGraw-Hill Companies, Blacklick, OH, 648 pp.

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Bark Beetle Outbreaks Following the Little Wolf Fire, Tally Lake Ranger District, Flathead National Forest, Ken Gibson, Ed Lieser, and Barb PIng; USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Forest Health Protection

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Effects of Thinning and Similar Stand Treatments on Fire Behavior in Western Forests, Russell T. Graham, Alan E. Harvey, Threasa B. Jain, and Jonalea R. Tonn

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The Spruce Beetle, E H. Holsten, R W. Their, A S. Munson, and K E. Gibson; Forest Insect and Disease Leaflet

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Model Analysis of Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae) Seasonality, Jesse A. Logan and Barbara J. Bentz; Environmental Entomology

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Estimating Extent of Mortality Associated with the Douglas-Fir Beetle in the Central and Northern Rockies, Jose F. Negron, Willis C. Schaupp Jr., Kenneth E. Gibson, John Anhold, Dawn Hansen, Ralph Thier, and Phil Mocettini; Western Journal of Applied Forestry

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Douglas-Fir Beetle in the Intermountain West, USDA Forest Service

1998

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Current and Proposed Technologies for Bark Beetle Management, Richard A. Goyer, Michael R. Wagner, and Timothy D. Schowalter; Journal of Forestry

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Postfire Succession and Disturbance Interactions on an Intermountain Subalpine Spruce-Fir Forest, Michael J. Jenkins, Christopher A. Dicus, and Elizabeth G. Hebertson; Fire in Ecosystem Management : Shifting the Paradigm from Suppression to Prescription

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Fire and Insects in Northern and Boreal Forest Ecosystems on North America, Deborah G. McCullough, Richard A. Werner, and David Neumann; Annual Review of Entomology

1997

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Fire episodes in the inland northwest (1540-1940) based on fire history data, Stephen W. Barrett, Stephen F. Arno, and James P. Menakis; USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, General Technical Report INT-GTR-370, 17 pp.

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Restoring Ecosystem Health in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Southwest, W. Wallace Covington, Peter Z. Fule, Margaret M. Moore, Stephen C. Hart, Thomas E. Kolb, Joy N. Mast, Stephen S. Sackett, and Michael R. Wagner; Journal of Forestry