Using structural sustainability for forest health monitoring and triage: Case study of a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonusponderosae)-impacted landscapeAuthor(s): Jonathan A. Cale; Jennifer G. Klutsch; Nadir Erbilgin; Jose F. Negron; John D. Castello
Source: Ecological Indicators. 70: 451-459.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (1005.0 KB)
Related Research Highlights
New forest health monitoring methods tested and found effective
Heavy disturbance-induced mortality can negatively impact forest biota, functions, and services by drastically altering the forest structures that create stable environmental conditions. Disturbance impacts on forest structure can be assessed using structural sustainability - the degree of balance between living and dead portions of a tree population’s size-class distribution - which is the basis of baseline mortality analysis. This analysis uses a conditionally calibrated reference level (i.e., baseline mortality) against which to detect significant mortality deviations without need for historical references. Recently, a structural sustainability index was developed by parameterizing results of this analysis to allow spatial and temporal comparisons within or among forested landscapes. The utility of this index as a tool for forest health monitoring programs and triage decisions has not been examined. Here, we investigated this utility by retrospectively analyzing the structural sustainability of a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)-impacted, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)-dominated landscape annually from 2000to 2006 as well as among watersheds. We show that temporal patterns of structural sustainability at the landscape-level reflect accumulating beetle-induced mortality as well as beetle-lodgepole pine ecology.At the watershed-level, this sustainability spatially varied with 2006 beetle-induced mortality. Further,structural sustainability satisfies key criteria for effective indicators of ecosystem change. We conclude that structural sustainability is a viable tool upon which to base or supplement forest health monitoring and triage programs, and could potentially increase the efficacy of such programs under current and future climate change-associated disturbance patterns.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
Cale, Jonathan A.; Klutsch, Jennifer G.; Erbilgin, Nadir; Negron, Jose F.; Castello, John D. 2016. Using structural sustainability for forest health monitoring and triage: Case study of a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonusponderosae)-impacted landscape. Ecological Indicators. 70: 451-459.
Keywordsbaseline mortality analysis, forest structure, forest disturbance, climate change, bark beetle
- Effects of stand structure, browsing, and biophysical conditions on regeneration following mountain pine beetle in mixed lodgepole pine and aspen forests of the southern Rockies
- Probability of infestation and extent of mortality models for mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests in Colorado
- Population densities and tree diameter effects associated with verbenone treatments to reduce mountain pine beetle-caused mortality of lodgepole pine
XML: View XML