Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks in Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine Forests
Recent research provides a new perspective on the causes of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreaks in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas var. latifolia Engelm.) forests of the Rocky Mountains. The most explosive outbreaks seem to originate in stands of low current vigor but having a high percentage of trees with thick phloem. Because large beetle populations can overcome the resistance of relatively vigorous trees, once an outbreak has started in a particular locality it often spreads over vast areas. On this interpretation of outbreak causation, methods for anticipating where and when outbreaks will occur have been developed to help the manager set priorities for stand treatment. Treatments can also be tested on computer models of stand growth linked to beetle population models. In general, silviculture aimed at maintaining tree vigor seems to offer the most promise for preventing outbreaks.
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Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Professor of Entomology and Forestry and Range Management at Washington State University, Pullman
Publication date: 1982-07-01
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