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Keyword: disturbance ecology

Droughty times in mesic places: Factors associated with forest mortality vary by scale in a temperate subalpine region

Publications Posted on: March 19, 2021
Understanding how drivers of ecological disturbance operate across scales is important in an era of increasing disturbance activity. Severe and extensive Dendroctonus bark beetle outbreaks across western North America have left in their wake dominance by shade-tolerant and commonly late-seral trees such as subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), which can foster resilience of forest cover.

Data for "Reconstructing historical outbreaks of mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests in the Colorado Front Range"

Datasets Posted on: December 30, 2020
This data publication includes data collected in support of a study to reconstruct mountain pine beetle outbreaks in lodgepole pine forests using insect symptomatology on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Canyon Lakes Ranger District, in the Colorado Front Range.

Within-stand distribution of tree mortality caused by mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2020
The mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a bark beetle that attacks and kills ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), among other pine species throughout the western conifer forests of the United States and Canada, particularly in dense stands comprising large trees. There is information on the stand conditions that the insect prefers.

Reconstructing mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the Colorado Front Range

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 02, 2020
From the late 1990s through the mid-2010s there have been extensive outbreaks of mountain pine beetle across the west from the Southern Rockies to British Columbia. It is often thought that these outbreaks are “unprecedented.” An understanding of historical disturbances is particularly critical as we continue to develop strategies for forest management under climate change.

Mapping post-disturbance forest landscape composition with Landsat satellite imagery

Publications Posted on: August 13, 2020
Forests worldwide are impacted by a wide variety of disturbances that are happening more frequently with more intensity than in the past due to global climate change. Forest managers, therefore, need to identify new ways to quickly and accurately predict post-disturbance forest landscape composition.

Canada lynx navigate spruce beetle-impacted forests

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 11, 2020
Canada lynx depend on boreal and subalpine forests that have been structured by natural disturbances for millennia.  The management conundrum is how to salvage beetle-killed trees, while also conserving this iconic species.  We instrumented Canada lynx with GPS collars to learn how they used beetle-impacted forests.  Our research informed how to balance timber salvage with species conservation.

A specialized forest carnivore navigates landscape-level disturbance: Canada lynx in spruce-beetle impacted forests

Publications Posted on: July 29, 2020
Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) occupy cold wet forests (boreal and subalpine forest) that were structured by natural disturbance processes for millennia. In the Southern Rocky Mountains, at the species’ southern range periphery, Canada lynx habitat has been recently impacted by large-scale disturbance from spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis).

Reconstructing historical outbreaks of mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests in the Colorado Front Range

Publications Posted on: July 27, 2020
Regional-scale mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreaks in the first decade of the 2000s affected millions of hectares of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in western North American forests. In Colorado, 1.4 million ha exhibited high mortality. These events prompted questions about whether historical outbreaks reached the scale of this most recent event.

Tree-ring-based reconstructions of historical fire regimes for quaking aspen, Great Basin bristlecone pine and mountain sagebrush communities

Projects Posted on: August 07, 2019
Tree-ring based fire histories from Utah and Nevada reveal multi-century fire patterns for quaking aspen, mountain sagebrush and Great Basin bristlecone pine communities.

Forest changes during fire exclusion are rapid and have profound effects

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 12, 2018
The 20th Century was a period of enormous change for western forests. Fire used to maintain distinct forest vegetation communities – pine, dry mixed-conifer, mesic mixed-conifer, and spruce-fir – in close proximity to one another along steep vertical gradients in the topographically diverse forests of the American Southwest. How did these forests change in response to fire exclusion? In what ways and how rapidly? What are the consequences of these changes? It is important to provide context for the condition of today’s forests, but more importantly, how can this information help today’s managers?