Title

Stand replacing fires reduce susceptibility of lodgepole pine to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Colorado

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Biogeography

Publication Date

2012

Issue

11

Volume

39

Publisher

John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

First Page

2052

Last Page

2060

Abstract

As climate change is increasing the frequency, severity and extent of wildfire and bark beetle outbreaks, it is important to understand how these disturbances interact to affect ecological patterns and processes, including susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. Stand-replacing fires and outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB), Dendroctonus ponderosae, are both important disturbances in the lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta, forests of the Rocky Mountains. In the current study we investigated how time since the last stand-replacing fire affects the susceptibility of the stand to MPB outbreaks in these forests. We hypothesized that at a stand-scale, young post-fire stands (100–150 years old) are less susceptible to past and current MPB outbreaks than are older stands.

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