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): Kendra E. Kaiser; Ryan E. Emanuel
    Date: 2013
    Source: Ecohydrology. 6: 444-454.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.64 MB)


    Vegetation pattern and landscape structure intersect to exert strong control over ecohydrological dynamics at the watershed scale. The hydrologic implications of vegetation disturbance (e.g. fire, disease) depend on the spatial pattern and form of environmental change. Here, we investigate this intersection at Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest (TCEF), Montana, with a focus on the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic currently affecting the Rocky Mountains. We calibrated QuickBird remote sensing imagery with a leaf-level spectral library of local vegetation. We used this spectral library to determine diagnostic vegetation indices for differentiating stages of beetle infestation within the 37 km2 TCEF watershed. These indices formed the basis of a three-component mixing model to establish the extent and magnitude of beetle infestation across the TCEF watershed. We compared disturbance patterns with spatially distributed topography and vegetation variables derived from a light detection and ranging-based digital elevation model of TCEF. We determined that certain landscape characteristics (low vegetation density, south-facing slopes, steep slopes, locations with small contributing areas and locations with lower values of the topographic wetness index) were significantly more likely to exhibit the effects of beetle infestation. Our efforts to monitor vegetation mortality across space and time provide a context for assessing landscape susceptibility to initial mountain pine beetle infestation and how outbreak (i.e. landscape scale infestation) patterns may affect watershed ecohydrology via altered water and biogeochemical cycles.

    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.


    Kaiser, Kendra E.; McGlynn Brian L.; Emanuel, Ryan E. 2013. Ecohydrology of an outbreak: Mountain pine beetle impacts trees in drier landscape positions first. Ecohydrology. 6: 444-454.


    Google Scholar


    mountain pine beetle, disturbance, vegetation patterns, mountain hydrology, emergent properties, ecohydrology, remote sensing, landscape structure

    Related Search

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