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Influence of bark beetle-caused mortality on fuel loadings and crown fire hazard in southwestern ponderosa pine standsAuthor(s): Chad M. Hoffman; Joel D. McMillin; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Peter Z. Fule
Source: In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. 2012. Forest health monitoring: 2009 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-167. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 241-246.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionBark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) are important biotic agents of conifer mortality in forests of western North America (Furniss and Carolin 1977) and play an important role in the disturbance ecology of these ecosystems (Fettig and others 2007). Bark beetle outbreaks affect subsequent fire behavior in part by influencing the spatial distribution and state of fuels [see review by Jenkins and others (2008)]. Crown fire hazard following a bark beetle outbreak likely varies as a function of time (Romme and others 2006) with increased risk of crown fire initiation immediately following outbreak, reduced crown fire spread and initiation after needle drop, and increased crown fire initiation and spread after snags fall. There is a paucity of "scientifically and statistically sound studies" on this topic; therefore, a better understanding of the fate of fuels after bark beetle outbreaks is needed to develop management options related to treating fuels (Negron and others 2008). Furthermore, because rates of needle drop, tree fall, and surface fuel decomposition vary across elevation gradients and forest types (Cahill 1977, Jenkins and others 2008), it is important to quantify relationships between bark beetle outbreaks and potential fire behavior across this variability. In contrast to higher-elevation forest types, relationships between bark beetle outbreaks, fuel loading, and fire behavior have not been reported for ponderosa pine forests (Jenkins and others 2008).
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CitationHoffman, Chad M.; McMillin, Joel D.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Fule, Peter Z. 2012. Influence of bark beetle-caused mortality on fuel loadings and crown fire hazard in southwestern ponderosa pine stands. In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. 2012. Forest health monitoring: 2009 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-167. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 241-246.
Keywordsbark beetles, Coleoptera, fuel, crown fire, ponderosa pine, fire behavior
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