USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

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Albany, CA 94710-0011
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Publications and Products

Title: Piñon mortality from 2001 to 2005: Causes and management strategies

Authors: Eager, Tom

Date: 2008

Publication In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Shaw, John D.; Ford, Paulette L., compilers. 2008. Ecology, management, and restoration of pinon-juniper and ponderosa pine ecosystems: combined proceedings of the 2005 St. George, Utah and 2006 Albuquerque, New Mexico workshops. Proceedings RMRS-P-51. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 54

Abstract: (Please note, this is an abstract only) Pinon mortality in the pinon-juniper and pinon-sage types of the Southwest peaked in 2003 following several years of winter drought. The majority of the droughtweakened trees died from pinon ips bark beetle attacks, but twig beetles also played a role. Forest Service aerial surveyors estimate more than 50 million pinon trees died in New Mexico alone from 2001-2005, most likely a conservative estimate since understory trees cannot be seen from the air. Unprecedented densities, advancement of pinon into drier sites at the low end of its elevation range, and multiple years of drought have made this period of die-off particularly notable. There is considerable evidence from the paleobotanic record that the range of pinon had reached its maximum extent following a comparatively wet period in the 1960s and 1970s, but there is also information that suggests pinon has always colonized and retreated from large areas over time. While natural events such as drought cannot be controlled, some management strategies can ease the adverse impacts on lands where the pinon component is valued. These management strategies must be tailored to address the specific damaging agent from the guild of organisms that are associated with pinon and juniper.

Keywords: Pinon-juniper and juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine forests, ecology, management, restoration, southwestern United States

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Citation

    Eager, Tom. 2008. Pinon mortality from 2001 to 2005: Causes and management strategies. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Shaw, John D.; Ford, Paulette L., compilers. 2008. Ecology, management, and restoration of pinon-juniper and ponderosa pine ecosystems: combined proceedings of the 2005 St. George, Utah and 2006 Albuquerque, New Mexico workshops. Proceedings RMRS-P-51. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 54
Last Modified: January 11, 2012