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Timothy D. Schowalter - LSU AgCenter

Longleaf reigned because it can grow in a broad range of habitats, from dry mountain slopes to sandy, swampy soils. It evolved with the southern pine beetle and frequent fire. Its large taproot provides a firm anchor, helping the tree withstand strong winds. In many aspects, longleaf wins over loblolly and slash pines, although many tree farmers prefer those yellow pines for their faster early growth and easier regeneration.

Research highlights | Nature Research

The pine beetle epidemic shows how warming temperatures can lead to a problem that, in turn, causes temperatures to rise even further. Such a feedback loop serves to amplify global warming. The added carbon in the atmosphere warms mountain temperatures even more, allowing the beetles to continue to multiply and destroy more trees, which give off more carbon. The feedback loop continues until the preferred host trees are gone.

Ammonia (EHC 54, 1986) - INCHEM

Planetary science: Water-logged Martian mantle may explain lack of surface water Nature

The mountain pine beetle's ability to survive and multiply rapidly is highly sensitive to temperature, and precipitation. Warmer average temperatures allow pine beetles to complete their life cycle in just one year instead of two.3,5 Rising minimum temperatures in the Colorado Rockies have allowed more beetles to survive the winter.,

When conditions are right, mountain pine beetles can multiply rapidly, devastating large areas of forest. The beetles bore through the bark of pine trees, killing them. Their preferred host is mature lodgepole pines, but they can also attack younger lodgepole pines, ponderosa pines, jack pines, and western white pines.

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The ability of the mountain pine beetle to survive and thrive is highly sensitive to temperature and precipitation. Outbreaks have been correlated with warmer winter temperatures, which allow more beetles to survive. In one study of higher elevations, biologists found that warmer temperatures allow the pine beetles to complete a full generation in just one year instead of two, allowing them to multiply faster. And recent periods of drought have stressed trees, making them more susceptible to attack.

Stations set up throughout the Rockies to manage water resources measure temperature and snow depth. From 1986 to 2007, temperatures at these stations rose by an average of 2.5° F (1.4° C). The strongest trend toward higher temperatures occurred from November to January, when the average increase ranged from 3.6 to 5.4° F (2.0 to 3.0° C). Warmer temperatures like these could allow more mountain pine beetles to survive the winter.

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The mountain pine beetle has wreaked devastation on a scale beyond that of most other forest pests. Beetles attacked some 11.8 million acres (4.8 million hectares) of forests in the United States in 2009, and some 75 percent of those losses stemmed from the mountain pine beetle.

Volcanoes and volcanology | Geology

In areas in Colorado west of the Continental Divide, the mountain pine beetle population was in decline in 2010, because the beetle had killed off most of its preferred host—the lodgepole pine.

Theses and Dissertations Available from ProQuest | …

Along with Colorado infestations, epidemic outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle have occurred in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. And outbreaks are growing in California, Oregon, Washington, and South Dakota, and just recently appeared in Nebraska.

Theses and Dissertations Available from ProQuest

The distance between individual longleaf pines in the forest allows the sun to nourish a biologically rich understory. Research indicates longleaf pine trees are the southern pine best suited for a changing climate with more intense storms, longer droughts, and increased risk of beetle infestation.


A warming trend in the mountainous interior and northern regions of British Columbia—much steeper than the global trend, particularly in winter,—has set the stage for rapid mountain pine beetle expansion there as well. The beetle has destroyed the lodgepole pine forests of central British Columbia, and the insect is continuing to expand into northern British Columbia and across the Continental Divide into Alberta.,,

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Colorado's major infestations of mountain pine beetles in 2010 occurred along the Front Range, east of the Continental Divide. These beetles are attacking lodgepole, limber, and ponderosa pine from the Wyoming border down to Clear Creek County, just west of Denver. An aerial survey showed that pine beetle activity in the lower–elevation stands of ponderosa pine on the Front Range had expanded more than 10–fold to over 200,000 acres (80,000 hectares), in 2010 compared to 2009. This area, at the foot of the Rockies, is closer to towns and cities than Rocky Mountain National Park.

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