Microclimate : An Alternative to Tree Vigor as a Basis for Mountain Pine Beetle Infestations

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Microclimates of thinned and unthinned stands of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) were monitored and related to mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) response on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah. Thinning increased light intensity, wind movement, insolation and temperature. Fewer beetles were caught in pheromone-baited traps in the thinned stand than in the unthinned stand. Beetles killed 2% of trees in the thinned stand and 16% in the unthinned stand.


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