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


    Limber pine, designated by Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) as a Species of Management Concern, is a keystone species that maintains ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Limber pine is declining in the park due to the interacting effects of recent severe droughts and the climate-exasperated mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak, and is threatened by the invasion of the non-native pathogen (Cronartium ribicola) that causes the lethal disease white pine blister rust (WPBR). White pine blister rust was confirmed in the park in 2010 (Schoettle et al. 2011; Schoettle et al. 2018b) and several new infections were discovered in this area during the fall of 2017 (Burns 2018). The disease is expected to spread and intensify, thereby causing mortality and negative impacts to biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and park resources in a changing climate. These same stressors are causing widespread mortality throughout much of limber pine’s range and basal area losses are projected to exceed 40% over the next 15 years (Cleaver et al. 2015, Kearns and Jacobi 2007, Krist et al. 2014). Loss of this keystone species will ultimately lead to cascading ecological impacts and loss of biodiversity in RMNP.

    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.


    Cleaver, Christy M.; Burns, Kelly S.; Schoettle, Anna W. 2017. Limber Pine and White Pine Blister Rust Monitoring and Assessment Guide for Rocky Mountain National Park. Final Report prepared by Rocky Mountain Research Station for Rocky Mountain National Park. Inter-Agency Agreement 15-IA-11221633-157. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 28p.


    limber pine, white pine blister rust (WPBR), mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, Cronartium ribicola, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

    Related Search

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