Sep 1, 2010

Climate Change and Bark Beetles of the Western United States and Canada: Direct and Indirect Effects

Bentz, Barbara J., Régnière, Jacques, Fettig, Christopher J, Hansen, E. Matthew, Hayes, Jane L., Hicke, Jeffrey A., Kelsey, Rick G., Negrón, Jose F., Seybold, Steven J.
  • States that climatic changes are predicted to significantly affect the frequency and severity of disturbances that shape forest ecosystems
  • Provides a synthesis of climate change effects on native bark beetles, important mortality agents of conifers in western North America
  • States that because of differences in temperature-dependent life-history strategies, including cold-induced mortality and developmental timing, responses to warming will differ among and within bark beetle species
  • States that the success of bark beetle populations will also be influenced indirectly by the effects of climate on community associates and host-tree vigor, although little information is available to quantify these relationships
  • Uses available population models and climate forecasts to explore the responses of two eruptive bark beetle species
  • Predicts increases in thermal regimes conducive to population success for Dendroctonus rufipennis (Kirby) and Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, although there is considerable spatial and temporal variability
  • These predictions from population models suggest a movement of temperature suitability to higher latitudes and elevations and identify regions with a high potential for bark beetle outbreaks and associated tree mortality in the coming century