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Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks in Rocky Mountain Lodgepole Pine Forests

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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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  • 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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