Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): David J. P. Moore; Nicole A. Trahan; Phil Wilkes; Tristan Quaife; Britton B. Stephens; Kelly Elder; Ankur R. Desai; Jose Negron; Russell K. Monson
    Date: 2013
    Source: Ecology Letters. 16: 731-737.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (393.99 KB)


    Amid a worldwide increase in tree mortality, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) have led to the death of billions of trees from Mexico to Alaska since 2000. This is predicted to have important carbon, water and energy balance feedbacks on the Earth system. Counter to current projections, we show that on a decadal scale, tree mortality causes no increase in ecosystem respiration from scales of several square metres up to an 84 km2 valley. Rather, we found comparable declines in both gross primary productivity and respiration suggesting little change in net flux, with a transitory recovery of respiration 6-7 years after mortality associated with increased incorporation of leaf litter C into soil organic matter, followed by further decline in years 8-10. The mechanism of the impact of tree mortality caused by these biotic disturbances is consistent with reduced input rather than increased output of carbon.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to 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.


    Moore, David J. P.; Trahan, Nicole A.; Wilkes, Phil; Quaife, Tristan; Stephens, Britton B.; Elder, Kelly; Desai, Ankur R.; Negron, Jose; Monson, Russell K. 2013. Persistent reduced ecosystem respiration after insect disturbance in high elevation forests. Ecology Letters. 16: 731-737.


    carbon balance, disturbance, ecosystem respiration, gross primary productivity, insect outbreak, lodgepole pine, mountain pine beetle, mountain West, subalpine forest

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page