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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Ecological restoration of southwestern ponderosa pine ecosystems: A broad perspective, C. D. Allen, M. Savage, D. A. Falk, K. F. Suckling, T. W. Swetnam, T. Schulke, P. B. Stacey, P. Morgan, M. Hoffman, and J. T. Klingel; Ecological Applications

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Cascading Effects of Fire Exclusion in Rocky Mountain Ecosystems : A Literature Review, Robert E. Keane, Kevin C. Ryan, Tom T. Veblen, Craig D. Allen, Jesse Logan, and Brad Hawkes

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Pine Engraver (Ips pini) Colonization of Logging Residues Created Using Alternative Slash Management Systems in Western Montana, Diana L. Six, Mark Vander Meer, Thomas H. DeLuca, and Peter Kolb; Western Journal of Applied Forestry

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Sampling coarse woody debris for multiple attributes in extensive resource inventories., K. L. Waddell; Ecological Indicators

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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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Mechanisms of Douglas-fir resistance to western spruce budworm defoliation: bud burst phenology, photosynthetic compensation and growth rate., Z. Chen, T. E. Kolb, and K. M. Clancy; Tree Physiology

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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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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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Within-stand spatial distribution of tree mortality caused by the Douglas-fir beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)., J. F. Negrón, J. A. Anhold, and A. S. Munson; Environmental Entomolgy

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

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Assessing crown fire potential by linking models of surface and crown fire behavior, J. H. Scott and E. D. Reinhardt; USDA Forest Service Research Paper

2000

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Mixed-severity fire regimes in the northern Rocky Mountains: Consequences of fire exclusion and options for the future, S. F. Arno, D. J. Parsons, and R. E. Keane; Proceedings: Wilderness science in a time of change conference

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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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Fire history in the ponderosa pine / Douglas-fir forests on the east slope of the Washington Cascades, R. L. Everett, R. Schellhaas, D. Keenum, D. Spurbeck, and P. Ohlson; Forest Ecology and Management

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Impacts of Douglas-fir Beetles on overstory and understory conditions of Douglas-fir stands, J. D. Mcmillin and K. K. Allen; USDA Forest Service

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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

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Long-term landscape patterns of past fire events in a montane ponderosa pine forest of central Colorado, P. M. Brown, M. R. Kaufmann, and W. D. Sheppard; Landscape Ecology

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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