Lightning disturbance can affect forest health at various scales. Lightning strikes may kill or weaken individual trees. Lightning-damaged trees may in turn function as epicenters of pest outbreaks in forest stands, as is the case with the southern pine beetle and other bark beetles (Rykiel and others 1988).
Koch, Frank H. 2009. Relating lightning data to fire occurrence data. In: Forest health monitoring: 2006 national technical report. General Technical Report SRS-117. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. (pages 15-25)