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    Conifer forests across western North America are undergoing a widespread mortality event mediated by an epidemic outbreak of bark beetles of the genus Dendroctonus and their associated bluestain fungi (Ophiostoma spp.). As of late 2009, beetles have impacted over 600,000 hectares in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming (US Forest Service aerial survey estimates), with the majority of mature lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Englemann spruce (Picea englemanii) expected to be dead by 2012 (Figure 1; Figure 2). While bark beetles are native to North American forests, the importance of insect outbreaks on water, C and N cycling has increased in recent years as a result of past timber management, fire exclusion, recent warming trends and drought (Allen et al. 2010).

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    Pendall, Elise; Ewers, Brent; Norton, Urszula; Brooks, Paul; Massman, W. J.; Barnard, Holly; Reed, David; Aston, Tim; Frank, John. 2010. Impacts of beetle-induced forest mortality on carbon, water and nutrient cycling in the Rocky Mountains. FluxLetter (The Newsletter of FLUXNET). 3(1): 17-21.


    forest mortality, bark beetles, carbon, water, nutrient cycling, Rocky Mountains

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