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    Author(s): Carolyn Sieg; Kurt Allen; Joel McMillin; Chad Hoffman
    Date: 2014
    Source: In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. Forest health monitoring: National status, trends, and analysis 2012. General Technical Report SRS-198. Asheville, NC: USDA-Forest Service, Southern Research Station. p. 153-160.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (130.0 KB)

    Description

    Landscape-scale bark beetle outbreaks have occurred throughout the Western United States during recent years in response to dense forest conditions, climatic conditions, and wildfire (Fettig and others 2007, Bentz and others 2010). Previous studies, mostly conducted in moist forest types (such as lodgepole pine [Pinus contorta]) suggest that bark beetle outbreaks alter stand structural attributes and fuel profiles, and thus affect potential fire hazard (Jenkins and others 2008), where hazard is defined as the ease of ignition and resistance to control (Hardy 2005). A number of factors influence postoutbreak fire hazard, including the time since mortality and the proportion of trees killed (Hicke and others 2012, Hoffman and others 2013). In the first few years following tree mortality, canopy fuels are expected to decrease as needles fall to the ground. Lower canopy fuels are assumed to decrease the potential for crown fire spread but allow for greater wind penetration into the stand. Surface fuel accumulation, first from needles and eventually from larger woody fuels, can increase the probability of surface fires transitioning to crowns. There is also a concern that accumulation of heavy woody fuels as dead trees fall to the ground can lead to accumulations above recommended amounts for both fireline construction and for sustaining ecosystem services such as soil protection and wildlife habitat (Brown and others 2003). In some forest types, postoutbreak logging (salvage) of dead trees has been used to recuperate the value of the trees and to potentially reduce fire hazard and enhance forest recovery (Collins and others 2011, Fettig and others 2007). Yet, how postoutbreak logging alters fuel complexes, tree regeneration, and subsequent fire behavior is largely understudied, especially for drier forest types such as those dominated by ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) or Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

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    Citation

    Sieg, Carolyn; Kurt, Allen; Hoffman, Chad; McMillin, Joel. 2014. Chapter 12 - Bark Beetle outbreaks in Ponderosa Pine forests: Implications for fuels, fire, and management (Project INT-F-09-01). In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. Forest health monitoring: National status, trends, and analysis 2012. General Technical Report SRS-198. Asheville, NC: USDA-Forest Service, Southern Research Station. p. 153-160.

    Keywords

    bark beetle, ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, outbreaks, logging, fire behavior

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