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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1991

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Bark Beetle - Fire Association in the Greater Yellowstone Area, Gene D. Ammon; Fire and the Environment: Ecological and Cultural Perspectives - Proceedings

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Temperature-Dependent Development of the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera : Scolytidae) and Simulation of its Phenology, Barbara J. Bentz, Jesse A. Logan, and Gene D. Amman; Canadian Entomologist

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On the temperature distribution inside a tree under fire conditions, J. J. Costa, L. A. Oliveira, D. X. Viegas, and L. P. Neto; International Journal of Wildfire

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Predicting Behavior and Size of Crown Fires in the Northern Rocky Mountains, Richard C. Rothermel

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Disturbance and Stand Development of a Colorado Subalpine Forest, Thomas T. Veblen, Keith S. Hadley, and Marion S. Reid; Journal of Biogeography

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Response of Subalpine Forests to Spruce Beetle Outbreak in Colorado, Thomas T. Veblen, Keith S. Hadley, Marion S. Reid, and Alan J. Rebertus; Ecology

1990

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Spruce Beetles and Fires in the Nineteenth-Century Subalpine Forests of Western Colorado USA, William L. Baker and Thomas T. Veblen; Arctic and Alpine Research

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Relationship Between Fire and Bark Beetles Attack in Western North American Forests, Michael J. Jenkins; Proceedings of the First International Conference on Forest Fire Research

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Emergence, Attack Densities, and Host Relationships for the Douglas-Fir Beetle (Dendroctonus pseudotsugae Hopkins) in Northern Colorado, E D. Lessard and J M. Schmid; Great Basin Naturalist

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Early 19th century fire decline following sheep pasturing in a Navajo ponderosa pine forest, M. Savage and T. W. Swetnam; Ecology

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Woody Fuel Structure and Fire in Subalpine Fir Forests, Olympic National Park, Washington, K L. Taylor and R W. Fonda; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

1989

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Microclimate : An Alternative to Tree Vigor as a Basis for Mountain Pine Beetle Infestations, Dale L. Bartos and Gene D. Amman

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Interactions among root disease pathogens and bark beetles in coniferous forests, Fields W. Cobb Jr.; Pages 142-148 in DJ Morrison (ed) Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Root and Butt Rots, Aug 9-16, 1988, Vernon BC. International Union of Forestry Research Organisation, VIctoria, Canada

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The role of Douglas-fir and wood borers in the decomposition of and nutrient release from Douglas-fir logs, R. L. Edmonds and A. Eglitis; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

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Fire behavior, fuel consumption, and forest-floor changes following prescribed understory fires in Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests, J. B. Kauffman and R. E. Martin; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

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The ecological concept of disturbance and its expression at various hierarchical levels, S. T.A. Pickett, J. Kolasa, J. J. Armesto, and S. L. Collins; OIKOS

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Response of understory vegetation to major canopy disturbance in the subalpine forests of Colorado, Marion S. Reid; University of Colorado, Department of Geography MS thesis, Boulder

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Mountain Pine Beetle : Biology Overview, Lee Safrenyik; Proceedings: Symposium on the Management of Lodgepole Pine to Minimize Losses to the Mountain Pine Beetle

1988

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Lodgepole Pine Vigor, Regeneration, and Infestation by Mountain Pine Beetle Following Partial cutting on the Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming, Gene D. Amman, Gene D. Lessard, Lynn A. Rasmussen, and Curtis G. O'Neil

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Susceptibility of Lodgepole Pine to Infestation by Mountain Pine Beetle Following Partial Cutting of Stands, Gene D. Amman, Mark D. McGregor, Richard F. Schmitz, and Robert D. Oakes; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

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Patterns of Community Dynamics in Colorado Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fire Forests, Gregory H. Aplet, Richard D. Laven, and Frederick W. Smith; Ecology

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Douglas-Fir Beetle (Dendroctonus pseudotsugae Hopkins, Coleoptera : Scolytidae) Brood Production on Douglas-Fir Defoliated by Western Spruce Budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman, Lepidoptera : Tortricidae) in Logan Canyon, Utah, S E. Fredricks and M J. Jenkins; Great Basin Naturalist

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Predicting Postfire Mortality of Seven Western Conifers, Kevin C. Ryan and Elizabeth D. Reinhardt; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

1987

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Ecology, Silviculture, and Management of the Engelmann Spruce - Subalpine Fir Type in the Central and Southern Rocky Mountains, Robert R. Alexander

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Forest fire frequency and western spruce budworm outbreaks in western Montana, L. Anderson, C. E. Carlson, and R. H. Wakimoto; Forest Ecology and Management