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Establishing the science foundation to sustain high-elevation five-needle pine forests threatened by novel interacting stresses in four western National Parks

Posted date: October 02, 2014
Publication Year: 
2013
Authors: Schoettle, Anna W.; Connor, J.; Mack, J.; Pineda Bovin, P.; Beck, J.; Baker, G. M.; Sniezko, R. A.; Burns, K. S.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: The George Wright Forum. 30: 302-312.

Abstract

High-elevation, five-needle white pines are among the most picturesque trees in many national parks as well as other federal, state, and private lands in western North America. These trees often live to a great age; the trees' gnarled trunks give testimony to fierce winds that buffet them on exposed rocky sites. Ancient limber pines (Pinus flexilis) in Rocky Mountain National Park occupy the edge of Trail Ridge Road, and a remarkable old giant stands sentinel on the shore of Lake Haiyaha. Limber pines accompany Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines (P. aristata) on the exposed ridges around Mosca, Medano, and Music passes in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Great Basin bristlecone pines (P. longaeva) top Wheeler Peak and Mount Washington in Great Basin National Park. Whitebark pines (P. albicaulis) grace the rim of Crater Lake and slopes of Mount Scott in Crater Lake National Park. Although the species may occur in only small areas within a park, they are ecologically invaluable to landscape dynamics and biodiversity and are vital for watershed protection (Tomback and Achuff 2010).

Citation

Schoettle, A. W.; Connor, J.; Mack, J.; Pineda Bovin, P.; Beck, J.; Baker, G. M.; Sniezko, R. A.; Burns, K. S. 2013. Establishing the science foundation to sustain high-elevation five-needle pine forests threatened by novel interacting stresses in four western National Parks. The George Wright Forum. 30: 302-312.