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    Author(s): Robin M. Reich; John E. Lundquist; Kristina Hughes
    Date: 2016
    Source: Journal of Forestry Research. 27(5): 1177-1189
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Subalpine fir decline (SFD) has killed more trees in Colorado’s high elevation forests than any other insect or disease problem. The widespread nature of this disorder suggests that the cause involves climatic factors. We examined the influence of varying combinations of average annual temperature and precipitation on the incidence and distribution of SFD. Climatic transition matrices generated in this study indicate that most healthy trees are found in climatic zones with moderate to low temperatures and high precipitation; whereas, SFD occurs mostly in zones of moderate temperatures and moderate precipitation. The contrasting distributions define an environmental mismatch. Forests matched with favorable climatic conditions thrive; those that are mismatched can become vulnerable to decline disease.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Reich, Robin M.; Lundquist, John E.; Hughes, Kristina. 2016. Host-environment mismatches associated with subalpine fir decline in Colorado. Journal of Forestry Research. 27(5): 1177-1189.


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    Abiotic disorder, Climate stress, High elevation forests, Forest disease, Subalpine fir.

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