You are here

Whitebark and limber pine restoration and monitoring in Glacier National Park

Posted date: July 05, 2011
Publication Year: 
2011
Authors: Asebrook, Jennifer M.; Lapp, Joyce; Carolin, Tara.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 335-337.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and limber pine (Pinus flexilis) are keystone species important to watersheds, grizzly and black bears, squirrels, birds, and other wildlife. Both high elevation five-needled pines have dramatically declined in Glacier National Park primarily due to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) and fire exclusion, with mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) as a potential threat. In 1997, we began collecting seed from trees that show phenotypic rust resistance in order to establish a restoration and monitoring program to maintain healthy whitebark and limber pine ecosystems in the park. Most of the seed has been propagated into seedlings through a cooperative agreement with the US Forest Service (FS) Coeur d'Alene Nursery. From 2000 to 2007, we planted nearly 6,400 whitebark and 4,700 limber pine seedlings. Following monitoring in 2010, 41 percent of all planted whitebark seedlings had survived, while only 6 percent of limber pine survived. In addition to restoration monitoring, we established blister rust monitoring plots as well as a program to monitor individual “plus” trees; trees that potentially have genetic resistance to blister rust. Currently, we are working with a FS regional geneticist to determine if our designated “plus” trees are actually producing blister-rust resistant seedlings.

Citation

Asebrook, Jennifer M.; Lapp, Joyce; Carolin, Tara. 2011. Whitebark and limber pine restoration and monitoring in Glacier National Park. In: Keane, Robert E.; Tomback, Diana F.; Murray, Michael P.; Smith, Cyndi M., eds. The future of high-elevation, five-needle white pines in Western North America: Proceedings of the High Five Symposium. 28-30 June 2010; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-63. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 335-337.