Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks in Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine Forests
Journal of Forestry
Recent research provides a new perspective on the causes of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in lodgepole pine forest of the Rocky Mountains. The most explosive outbreaks seem to originate in stands of low current vigor but having a high percentage of trees with thick phloem. Because large beetle populations can overcome the resistance of relatively vigorous trees, once an outbreak has started in a particular locality it often spreads over vast areas. On this interpretation of outbreak causation, methods for anticipating where and when outbreaks will occur have been developed to help the manager set priorities for stand treatment. Treatments can also be tested on computer models of stand growth linked to beetle populations models. In general, silviculture aimed at maintaining tree vigor seems to offer the most promise for preventing outbreaks.
Berryman, A. (1982). Mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine forests. Journal of Forestry, 80(7): 410-419.
Originally published by the Society of American Foresters.
Note: This article appeared in the Journal of Forestry.