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Susceptibility of ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa (Dougl. Ex Laws.), to mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, attack in uneven-aged stands in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming USA

Posted date: March 13, 2008
Publication Year: 
2008
Authors: Negron, Jose; Allen, Kurt; Cook, Blaine; Withrow, John R. Jr.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 254: 327-334.

Abstract

Mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins can cause extensive tree mortality in ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws., forests in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Most studies that have examined stand susceptibility to mountain pine beetle have been conducted in even-aged stands. Land managers increasingly practice uneven-aged management.We established 84 clusters of four plots, one where bark beetle-caused mortality was present and three uninfested plots. For all plot trees we recorded species, tree diameter, and crown position and for ponderosa pine whether they were killed or infested by mountain pine beetle. Elevation, slope, and aspect were also recorded.We used classification trees to model the likelihood of bark beetle attack based on plot and site variables. The probability of individual tree attack within the infested plots was estimated using logistic regression. Basal area of ponderosa pine in trees [greater than or equal to] 25.4 cmin diameter at breast height (dbh) and ponderosa pine stand density index were correlated with mountain pine beetle attack. Regression trees and linear regression indicated that the amount of observed tree mortality was associated with initial ponderosa pine basal area and ponderosa pine stand density index. Infested stands had higher total and ponderosa pine basal area, total and ponderosa pine stand density index, and ponderosa pine basal area in trees [greater than or equal to] 25.4 cm dbh. The probability of individual tree attack within infested plots was positively correlated with tree diameter with ponderosa pine stand density index modifying the relationship. A tree of a given size was more likely to be attacked in a denser stand.We conclude that stands with higher ponderosa pine basal area in trees [greater than or equal to] 25.4 cm and ponderosa pine stand density index are correlated with an increased likelihood of mountain pine beetle bark beetle attack. Information form this study will help forest managers in the identification of uneven-aged stands with a higher likelihood of bark beetle attack and expected levels of tree mortality.

Citation

Negron, Jose F.; Allen, Kurt; Cook, Blaine; Withrow, John R., Jr. 2008. Susceptibility of ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa (Dougl. Ex Laws.), to mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, attack in uneven-aged stands in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming USA. Forest Ecology and Management. 254: 327-334.