Whitebark pine is a critical component of subalpine ecosystems in western North America, where it contributes to biodiversity and ecosystem function and in some communities is considered a keystone species. Whitebark pine is undergoing rangewide population declines attributed to the combined effects of mountain pine beetle, white pine blister rust, and fire suppression. The restoration and maintenance of whitebark pine populations require an understanding of all aspects of seed fate. In this paper, we review the literature on seed dispersal in whitebark pine. Clark’s nutcracker, pine squirrels, and scatter-hoarding rodents are all known to influence whitebark pine seed fate and ultimately affect the ability of whitebark pine populations to regenerate. We also provide a general overview of the natural histories of the most influential species involved with whitebark pine seed fate: Clark’s nutcracker and the pine squirrel.
Lorenz, Teresa J.; Aubry, Carol; Shoal, Robin. 2008. A review of the literature on seed fate in whitebark pine and the life history traits of Clark s nutcracker and pine squirrels. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-742. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 62 p