Patterns of woodboring beetle activity following fires and bark beetle outbreaks in montane forests of California, USA

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Fire Ecology

Publication Date

Summer 7-5-2019




Increasingly frequent and severe drought in the western United States has contributed to more frequent and severe wildfires, longer fire seasons, and more frequent bark beetle outbreaks that kill large numbers of trees. Climate change is expected to perpetuate these trends, especially in montane ecosystems, calling for improved strategies for managing Western forests and conserving the wildlife that they support. Woodboring beetles (e.g., Buprestidae and Cerambycidae) colonize dead and weakened trees and speed succession of habitats altered by fire or bark beetles, while serving as prey for some early-seral habitat specialists, including several woodpecker species. To understand how these ecologically important beetles respond to different sources of tree mortality, we sampled woodborers in 16 sites affected by wildfire or bark beetle outbreak in the previous one to eight years. Study sites were located in the Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, Warner Mountains, and southern Cascades of California, USA. We used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the response of woodboring beetles to disturbance type, severity, and timing; forest stand composition and structure; and tree characteristics.