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Field measurements of ground, surface, ladder, and crown fuels 2-32 years following Dendroctonus ponderosae epidemics in the Pinus contorta zone of south-central Oregon

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Author: Shaw, David C.; Hollingsworth, LaWen T.; Woolley, Travis J.; Fitzgerald, Stephen A.; Eglitis, Andris; Kurth, Laurie L.; Agne, Michelle C.

Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae, MPB), a bark beetle native to the western North America, has caused vast areas of tree mortality over the last several decades. The majority of this mortality has been in lodgepole pine forests (Pinus contorta) and has heightened concerns over the potential for extreme fire behavior across large landscapes as forest structure and fuels are altered following these MPB epidemics. Although considerable research is emerging concerning the influence of MPB on forest fuels, there has been little work completed previously in the climax lodgepole pine forests of south-central Oregon. Potentially important ecological differences exist as compared to other lodgepole pine systems (e.g. Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine systems). This data publication contains the data collected to assess these differences. Specifically, we measured changes in forest structure and canopy, surface, and ground fuels across a chronosequence of time since mountain pine beetle (TSB) epidemics in south-central Oregon. This data publication contains data collected from 219 randomly located plots representing 19 separate years of mountain pine beetle epidemic initiation during the period 1978-2009. The data were collected during the summers of 2010 and 2011, resulting in a fuels succession chronosequence from 2 to 32 years after a mountain pine beetle epidemic.