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    Author(s): David W. Clow; Charles C. Rhoades; Jennifer Briggs; Megan Caldwell; William M. Lewis
    Date: 2011
    Source: Applied Geochemistry. 26: S174-S178.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (552.0 KB)


    Pine forest in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, USA, are experiencing the most severe mountain pine beetle epidemic in recorded history, and possible degradation of drinking-water quality is a major concern. The objective of this study was to investigate possible changes in soil and water chemistry in Grand County, Colorado in response to the epidemic, and to identify major controlling influences on stream-water nutrients and C in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle. Soil moisture and soil N increased in soils beneath trees killed by the mountain pine beetle, reflecting reduced evapotranspiration and litter accumulation and decay. No significant changes in stream-water NO-3 or dissolved organic C were observed; however, total N and total P increased, possibly due to litter breakdown or increased productivity related to warming air temperatures. Multiple-regression analyses indicated that % of basin affected by mountain pine beetles had minimal influence on stream-water NO-3 and dissolved organic C; instead, other basin characteristics, such as percent of the basin classified as forest, were much more important.

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    Clow, David W.; Rhoades, Charles C.; Briggs, Jennifer; Caldwell, Megan; Lewis, William M., Jr. 2011. Responses of soil and water chemistry to mountain pine beetle induced tree mortality in Grand County, Colorado, USA. Applied Geochemistry. 26: S174-S178.


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    soil chemistry, water chemistry, mountain pine beetle, tree mortality

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