Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of the mountain pine beetle on lodgepole pine stand structure and dynamics. 2006. Shore, T.L.; Safranyik, L.; Hawkes, B.C.; Taylor, S.W. Pages 95-114 (Chapter 3) in L. Safranyik and W.R. Wilson, editors. The mountain pine beetle: a synthesis of biology, management, and impacts on lodgepole pine. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia. 304 p.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26041

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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This chapter reviews the ecology of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia Engelm.) in relation to interactions with fire and the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopk. [Coleoptera: Scolytidae]), with special reference to western Canada. Lodgepole pine has wide ecological amplitude. In western Canada, lodgepole pine is present in the majority of biogeographic zones in its distributional range and has four successional roles ranging from minor seral to climax. Although lodgepole pine can regenerate without fire disturbance, it is principally a fire-maintained species. The mean fire return period and mean fire size are the major determinants of age distribution of lodgepole pine types on the landscape, and hence the spatial and temporal extent of susceptible forests. Epidemics may heavily deplete the large diameter pine components of stands, thereby increasing the non-host overstory component of mixed stands. The surviving host and non-host trees will generally increase in growth. Post-epidemic development of forest types depends on a large number of factors such as fire disturbance, extent of stand depletion, advance regeneration, presence of non-host overstory trees, and biogeographic zone, and may range from pure stands of lodgepole pine to pure stands of non-host species.