Bark beetle conditions in western forests and formation of the Western Bark Beetle Research Group

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:R. J. Cain, Hayes J. L.
Journal:U S Forest Service General Technical Report PNW
Date Published:April

The recent dramatic impacts of bark beetle outbreaks across conifer forests of the West have been mapped and reported by entomology and pathology professionals with Forest Health Protection (FHP), a component of USDA Forest Service's State and Private Forestry, and their state counterparts. These forest conditions set the stage for the formation of the Western Bark Beetle Research Group (WBBRG), comprised of research scientists within the three western research stations of the USDA Forest Service Research and Development. Facing the increasing bark beetles impacts, the newly formed WBBRG, in concert with FHP professionals from the western Regions, developed research priorities. Building on a strong foundation of past and present research, WBBRG scientists in conjunction with their varied partners will investigate the complex interactions of bark beetles and their hosts. Interactions to be explored include those within vegetation management scenarios at the individual tree to landscape scale, those between wildland fire and bark beetles, the long-term impacts of bark beetle outbreaks on ecological and socioeconomic values, and importantly the response of bark beetle systems (i.e., bark beetles, their hosts and common associates) to climate change. This increased understanding of bark beetle behavior and population dynamics at multiple scales and with other agents of change will lead to the development and improvement of management tools. As in the past, WBBRG scientists will work closely with FHP entomologists to implement practical research products to prevent, retard, or suppress unwanted effects of native and nonnative invasive bark and woodboring beetles in the West.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith