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Relationships of Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth Defoliation to Site and Stand Characteristics in Northern Idaho

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Relationships between intensity of defoliation caused by Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, and descriptive characteristics of forest sites and stands in an outbreak area of northern Idaho were quantified. Defoliation hazard predictive models were developed from inventory data collected in 70 stands covering a range of successional stages and site and stand conditions within the grand fir-western redcedar ecosystem. Two models are presented, each accounting for approximately 50 percent of the variation in defoliation intensity. Defoliation was heavier on upper slope and ridgetop sites, negatively correlated with depth of volcanic ash mantle, and positively correlated with host tree age, proportion of grand fir in the stand, and the ratio of stand density or biomass to site index. A hypothesis that tussock moth outbreaks develop in response to changes in host foliage quality resulting from stresses is presented. Forest Sci. 27:431-442.

Keywords: Forest protection; Hazard rating; Host-insect interaction; Orgyia pseudotsugata

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Instructor, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Range Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

Publication date: 1981-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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