Skip to Main Content
Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.
The influence of white pine blister rust on seed dispersal in whitebark pineAuthor(s): Shawn T. McKinney; Diana F. Tomback
Source: Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 37(6): 1044-1057.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (1.2 MB)
DescriptionWe tested the hypotheses that white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch.) damage in whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) stands leads to reduced (1) seed cone density, (2) predispersal seed survival, and (3) likelihood of Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana (Wilson, 1811)) seed dispersal. We gathered data from two sets of paired forest sites in the Bitterroot Mountains of eastern Idaho and western Montana that were similar in topography, canopy structure, tree species composition, and successional stage, but differed in rust infection level, crown kill, and tree mortality. We counted initial (mid-July) and final (late August) seed cones, observed vertebrate seed predator activity, and documented nutcracker seed dispersal in study sites in 2001 and 2002. High-rust sites had higher rates of seed predation relative to cone abundance, lower predispersal seed survival, and fewer observations of nutcracker seed dispersal than paired low-rust sites. These findings suggest that as blister-rust-induced damage increases within stands in the Bitterroot Mountains, the likelihood of nutcracker seed dispersal decreases. We propose that whitebark pine in heavily rust-damaged forests may not self-regenerate and would therefore require planting of seeds or seedlings from genetically rust-resistant trees.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMcKinney, Shawn T.; Tomback, Diana F. 2007. The influence of white pine blister rust on seed dispersal in whitebark pine. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 37(6): 1044-1057.
Keywordswhite pine blister rust, Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch., whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis Engelm., seed dispersal, Bitterroot Mountains, Idaho, Montana
- ECO-Report - Fire recovery in the Bitterroot: "It’s a lot of work!"
- ECO-Report - 1999 Symposium highlights five years of learning
- ECO-Report - The case for research: How it makes a difference to managers
XML: View XML