Skip to Main Content
The once and future forest: Consequences of mountain pine beetle treatment decisionsAuthor(s): Nancy E. Gillette; David L. Wood; Sarah J. Hines; Justin B. Runyon; Jose F. Negron
Source: Forest Science. 60(3): 527-538.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (240.61 KB)
Related Research Highlights
Synthesis Paper on the Mountain Pine Beetle Biology and Management Now Available
DescriptionEntomologists and silviculturists have long recommended management of stand basal area and/or mean tree diameter to mitigate the risk of mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreaks while simultaneously reducing wildfire risk. In recent decades, however, wildfire suppression and reduced harvests in western North America have created a forest landscape that is densely stocked and increasingly susceptible to bark beetle infestations, especially as the climate becomes warmer and drier. We examine the various MPB treatment options available to land managers, including insecticides, semiochemicals, sanitation, and silvicultural treatments, and describe their long-term consequences in terms of risk of future bark beetle outbreaks, wildfire, invasion by exotic weeds, loss of hydrologic values, and carbon sequestration. Paradoxically, the treatments that are most enduring and best preserve the ecosystem services of North American forests are ones that result in some thinning of these stands. We, therefore, propose a renewed focus on silvicultural treatments over large spatial scales, particularly in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon), and recommend semiochemical treatments, which may not protect all trees, for the protection of high-value trees, especially for high-elevation pines that grow in smaller stands. Prophylactic insecticide applications should be reserved for situations where any tree mortality at all is unacceptable.
- 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.
CitationGillette, Nancy E.; Wood, David L.; Hines, Sarah J.; Runyon, Justin B.; Negron, Jose F. 2014. The once and future forest: Consequences of mountain pine beetle treatment decisions. Forest Science. 60(3): 527-538.
Keywordsadaptive management, Dendroctonus, insecticides, semiochemicals, thinning
- Population densities and tree diameter effects associated with verbenone treatments to reduce mountain pine beetle-caused mortality of lodgepole pine
- Probability of infestation and extent of mortality models for mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests in Colorado
- Post-harvest seedling recruitment following mountain pine beetle infestation of Colorado lodgepole pine stands: A comparison using historic survey records
XML: View XML