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Climate and bark beetle interactions: Post-disturbance effects on developing forest stands

May, 2016 to May, 2017

A color catalog of mountain pine beetle will improve resolution when determining whether discolored wood is a result of beetle fungal associates.
The creation of a color catalog associated with mountain pine beetle will help determine whether discolored wood is a result of beetle fungal associates.
Forest disturbance reconstructions provide a valuable record of factors leading up to change or stabilization in forest stands. Reconstructions in Colorado usually focus on fire effects, although a few have recorded beetle disturbances. 

Research and discussions on bark beetle disturbances generally center on losses and other detrimental effects to forest ecosystems. This research focuses on impacts to forest structure following bark beetle disturbance and how climate can influence this outcome. Examining the evidence left by bark beetle disturbance and understanding interactions between insect disturbances and climate events may help guide management of post-disturbance forests.


  • Existing wood sample records will be re-examined to determine contribution of bark beetles to their mortality.

  • Pre and post-disturbance tree structure vigor will be rated against climate and stand structure factors.

  • Resulting research will provide evidence on the effects of bark beetle disturbance in context to their response to climatic events.

Project Contact: 

Benjamin Gannon - Colorado Forest Restoration Institute - Colorado State University