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Forest Recovery following Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado
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Forest Recovery following Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado

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  • 1. Initial and Future Stand Development following Mountain Pine Beetle in Harvested and Uncut Lodgepole Pine Stands
    Byron Collins
    Colorado State University
    Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship
  • 2. Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak
  • 3. Mountain Pine Beetle in North America
    ~450,000 Hectares in Colorado
    ~12 million ha in British Columbia
    • British Columbia: Sparse regeneration in uncut stands
    Raffa,K.F., Aukema, B.H., Bentz, B.J., Carroll, A.L., Hicke, J.A., Turner, M.G. and Romme, W.H. 2008. Cross-scale drivers of natural disturbances prone to anthropogenic amplification: the dynamics of bark beetle eruptions. BioScience 58:501-517. doi:10.1641/B580607.
  • 4. Management Response
    Sulphur Ranger District – Arapaho-Roosevelt NF
    • 3,700 ha since 2000
    • 2.5x increase over ’90 -’99
    • 40% potentially treatable (slope, access)
  • 5. Objectives
    Characterize cut & uncut stands
    - quantify advance regeneration and recruitment
    Pre-outbreak vs. outbreak
    - green vs. red
    Growth
    - advance regeneration and recruitment
    • Future forests
    - project stand growth, species composition
  • 6. Research Approach
    Historic Data – Green vs. Red
    - Seedling and stand survey data, Sulphur RD-
    Arapaho-Roosevelt NF
    Current
    - Operational scale study of management vs. no-
    action
  • 7. Management Research Areas
    North Platte Basin
    - Colorado State Forest- Routt National Forest – Parks RD
    Upper Colorado Basin
    - Arapaho-Roosevelt NF -Sulphur
    RD/ Fraser Experimental Forest
    - Routt NF – Yampa RD
  • 8. Fraser Experimental Forest
    • 10 harvest units paired with
    10 adjacent uncut stands
    • Range of overstory removal
    (partial cut, clear cut)
    • Range of slash management
    (lop and scatter, whole tree
    harvest)
  • 9. Harvest: Fall & Winter 2007-2008
  • 10. Methods
    Seedling plots (1/100 acre, 114 plots)
    Overstory transects (5 x 150 m, 69 transects)
    Growth measurements (250 trees)
  • 11. Harvest 2007 - 2008
    • 39% - 86% basal area removed
  • 12. Forest Composition – Uncut Stands
    • Lodgepole makes up
    majority of basal area
    - 45% - 100% of total BA
    - 74% mortality (60% - 93%)
  • 13. Recruitment
    • 3x more recruitment in harvested stands (aspen and lodgepole)
    • Continued fir and pine recruitment in uncut stands beneath
    deteriorating canopy
  • 14. Effects of Canopy Condition at HarvestGreen vs. Red
    Post-harvest seedling recruitment is similar during outbreak as prior to outbreak
  • 15. Frequency of Density:
    Seedling Recruitment
    Among all species:
    • In uncut stands seedlings were found in 90% of plots (18% > 3000 trees ha-1)
    • In harvested stands seedlings were found in 80% of plots (56% > 3000 trees ha-1)
  • 16. Advance Regeneration
    • Density did not differ between harvested and uncut areas
    • ~4000 stems/ha-1
    all species in cut and uncut stands
    •Subalpine fir half of all advance regeneration
    • Species composition differs from overstory
  • 17. Frequency of Density:Advance Regeneration
    Among all species:
    • In uncut stands adv. regeneration was found in 97% of plots (49% > 3000 trees ha-1)
    • In harvested stands adv. regeneration was found in 92% of plots (39% > 3000 trees ha-1)
  • 18. Growth Response to HarvestRecruitment
    Lodgepole grew 30% more in cut stands compared to uncut
  • 19. Growth Response to Reduced CanopyAdvance Regeneration
    Lodgepole Pine:
    • Responding to reduced canopy cover
    • 20. Increased leader growth in 2009 in untreated and harvested stands (23%)
    Subalpine Fir:
    • Less leader growth in harvested stands
    • 21. 2x more leader growth (2008 and 2009) in untreated stands
    • 22. 23% of trees in harvested stands had no new leader growth in 2009
  • Stand Growth Projections
    Used initial findings and FIA data to predict changes in basal area and species composition over time
    • Uncut Stands: Subalpine fir, lodgepole pine evenly mixed (50 to 100 yrs)
    • Partial Cut: Aspen and subalpine fir dominant for 50 years then aspen becomes less important
    • Clear cut: lodgepole pine is dominant
    * Forest Vegetation Simulator, Forest Inventory and Analysis Data
  • 23. Summary of Results
    Seedling recruitment occurred in 90% of uncut and 80% of harvested stands
    Advance regeneration was found in > 90% of uncut and harvested stands
    Species composition of seedling recruitment and advance regeneration differed between cut and uncut stands
    Lodgepole increased height growth in cut and uncut stands
    Subalpine fir grew poorly in cut stands
  • 24. Summary of Results (cont.)
    Cut and uncut stands will recover pre-outbreak basal area in 80 – 100 years
    Future species composition dependent on treatment
  • 25. Special Thanks
    Graduate Committee
    • Chuck Rhoades - Rocky Mountain Research Station
    • 26. Bill Romme - Forest Range & Watershed Stewardship
    • 27. Rob Hubbard - Rocky Mountain Research Station
    • 28. Patrick Martin - Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
    Funding Support
    • Tony Cheng - Colorado Forest Restoration Institute
    • Clint Kyhl- USFS Region 2, Bark Beetle Initiative
    Technical Assistance
    Mike Battaglia, Lance Asherin, Laurie Porth, David Turner
    Field Assistance
    Anna Johnson, Landon Gryzkowski, Tyson Wormus, Chad Kooistra, Jarrett Tishmack, Bryn Evans, Adam Heath, Brett Macalady, Amanda Morrison, Phil Bissell
  • 29. Questions?

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