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Susceptibility of Fire-Injured Douglas-Fir to Bark Beetle Attack in Southern Idaho

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Of 328 Douglas-fir trees examined on a burn in southern Idaho, 228 (70 percent) had been attacked by the Douglas-fir bark beetle one year after the fire. Even small or lightly burned trees attracted bark beetles; the incidence of attack increased with size of tree and severity of fire injury to crown and cambium up to the point of tree death, but decreased sharply with outright fire kill. The number of attacking beetles per tree was low, apparently because attractive, fire-damaged trees were plentiful. Beetles established broods in 88 percent of the trees attacked, but brood populations were small because of adverse conditions--pitch invasion of brood galleries and "sour sap." In one-half of the attacked trees, the vertical extent of attack was only one-eighth of that of trees in unburned areas. This study indicates that fire injury subjects Douglas-fir to high incidence of bark beetle attack and salvage cutting should include all large trees, fire-killed trees, and severely defoliated trees.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Entomologist, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Moscow, Idaho, maintained cooperatively by Intermountain Forest and Range Expt. Sta. Forest Service, U. S. Dept. Agric., and the University of Idaho

Publication date: 1965-01-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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