The pollen record of a 20th century spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak in a Colorado subalpine forest, USA

Scott R Anderson, Susan J. Smith, Ann M. Lynch, Brian W. Geils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The frequency and intensity of ecosystem disturbance, including outbreaks of forest insects and forest fires, is expected to increase in the future as a result of higher temperatures and prolonged drought. While many studies have concentrated on the future climatic impacts on fire, little is known about the impact of future climate on insect infestation. Paleoecological techniques are important in this regard in identifying the potential relationships between climate and insect outbreaks in the past, as a predictive tool for the future. We examine a high-resolution 20th century record of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) infestation from a small, subalpine lake, comparing the paleoecological record to the historical and tree-ring record of the event. An extensive spruce beetle outbreak occurred in northwestern Colorado during the 1940s and 1950s, causing widespread mortality of mature Picea engelmannii. Pollen analysis of this period documents the decline of Picea and its replacement locally by Abies lasiocarpa, paralleling age and composition studies of modern forest stands in the region. This study is a proof of concept that, when applied to longer sedimentary records, could produce a detailed record of infestation for the Late Holocene or older time periods. This information will be useful to forest managers in efforts to plan for the effects of D. rufipennis infestations, and subsequent succession within high elevation conifer forests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-455
Number of pages8
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume260
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

Dendroctonus rufipennis
subalpine forests
beetle
pollen
insect
forest insects
climate
Abies lasiocarpa
Picea engelmannii
forest fires
growth rings
forest stands
coniferous forests
Picea
palynology
managers
forest fire
tree ring
drought
coniferous tree

Keywords

  • Colorado
  • Dendroctonus rufipennis
  • Fire history
  • Pollen analysis
  • Spruce beetle outbreak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

The pollen record of a 20th century spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak in a Colorado subalpine forest, USA. / Anderson, Scott R; Smith, Susan J.; Lynch, Ann M.; Geils, Brian W.

In: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 260, No. 4, 07.2010, p. 448-455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{beb6bc56d16d43df81ff25b0e01ab96d,
title = "The pollen record of a 20th century spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak in a Colorado subalpine forest, USA",
abstract = "The frequency and intensity of ecosystem disturbance, including outbreaks of forest insects and forest fires, is expected to increase in the future as a result of higher temperatures and prolonged drought. While many studies have concentrated on the future climatic impacts on fire, little is known about the impact of future climate on insect infestation. Paleoecological techniques are important in this regard in identifying the potential relationships between climate and insect outbreaks in the past, as a predictive tool for the future. We examine a high-resolution 20th century record of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) infestation from a small, subalpine lake, comparing the paleoecological record to the historical and tree-ring record of the event. An extensive spruce beetle outbreak occurred in northwestern Colorado during the 1940s and 1950s, causing widespread mortality of mature Picea engelmannii. Pollen analysis of this period documents the decline of Picea and its replacement locally by Abies lasiocarpa, paralleling age and composition studies of modern forest stands in the region. This study is a proof of concept that, when applied to longer sedimentary records, could produce a detailed record of infestation for the Late Holocene or older time periods. This information will be useful to forest managers in efforts to plan for the effects of D. rufipennis infestations, and subsequent succession within high elevation conifer forests.",
keywords = "Colorado, Dendroctonus rufipennis, Fire history, Pollen analysis, Spruce beetle outbreak",
author = "Anderson, {Scott R} and Smith, {Susan J.} and Lynch, {Ann M.} and Geils, {Brian W.}",
year = "2010",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1016/j.foreco.2010.05.001",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "260",
pages = "448--455",
journal = "Forest Ecology and Management",
issn = "0378-1127",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The pollen record of a 20th century spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak in a Colorado subalpine forest, USA

AU - Anderson, Scott R

AU - Smith, Susan J.

AU - Lynch, Ann M.

AU - Geils, Brian W.

PY - 2010/7

Y1 - 2010/7

N2 - The frequency and intensity of ecosystem disturbance, including outbreaks of forest insects and forest fires, is expected to increase in the future as a result of higher temperatures and prolonged drought. While many studies have concentrated on the future climatic impacts on fire, little is known about the impact of future climate on insect infestation. Paleoecological techniques are important in this regard in identifying the potential relationships between climate and insect outbreaks in the past, as a predictive tool for the future. We examine a high-resolution 20th century record of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) infestation from a small, subalpine lake, comparing the paleoecological record to the historical and tree-ring record of the event. An extensive spruce beetle outbreak occurred in northwestern Colorado during the 1940s and 1950s, causing widespread mortality of mature Picea engelmannii. Pollen analysis of this period documents the decline of Picea and its replacement locally by Abies lasiocarpa, paralleling age and composition studies of modern forest stands in the region. This study is a proof of concept that, when applied to longer sedimentary records, could produce a detailed record of infestation for the Late Holocene or older time periods. This information will be useful to forest managers in efforts to plan for the effects of D. rufipennis infestations, and subsequent succession within high elevation conifer forests.

AB - The frequency and intensity of ecosystem disturbance, including outbreaks of forest insects and forest fires, is expected to increase in the future as a result of higher temperatures and prolonged drought. While many studies have concentrated on the future climatic impacts on fire, little is known about the impact of future climate on insect infestation. Paleoecological techniques are important in this regard in identifying the potential relationships between climate and insect outbreaks in the past, as a predictive tool for the future. We examine a high-resolution 20th century record of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) infestation from a small, subalpine lake, comparing the paleoecological record to the historical and tree-ring record of the event. An extensive spruce beetle outbreak occurred in northwestern Colorado during the 1940s and 1950s, causing widespread mortality of mature Picea engelmannii. Pollen analysis of this period documents the decline of Picea and its replacement locally by Abies lasiocarpa, paralleling age and composition studies of modern forest stands in the region. This study is a proof of concept that, when applied to longer sedimentary records, could produce a detailed record of infestation for the Late Holocene or older time periods. This information will be useful to forest managers in efforts to plan for the effects of D. rufipennis infestations, and subsequent succession within high elevation conifer forests.

KW - Colorado

KW - Dendroctonus rufipennis

KW - Fire history

KW - Pollen analysis

KW - Spruce beetle outbreak

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954176123&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77954176123&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.05.001

DO - 10.1016/j.foreco.2010.05.001

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77954176123

VL - 260

SP - 448

EP - 455

JO - Forest Ecology and Management

JF - Forest Ecology and Management

SN - 0378-1127

IS - 4

ER -