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Bark Beetle Activity in Southern Rockies Forests

Chuck Rhoades, Rob Hubbard & Kelly Elder M. Battaglia, P. Fornwalt, B. Collins, K. Pelz U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station Mountain Pine Beetle Information Exchange Forum Foothills Research Institute 23 April 2014


Talk Overview • Southern Rockies Context • Overview of Outbreak • General Patterns Fraser Experimental Forest HQ (9,000 ft; 30 Yr)

Annual Average Temperature (oF)

60

Maximum 50

40

Average

30

Minimum 20

10 1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

Year

1995

2000

2005


Colorado Forest Types Colorado Forest

269,837 km2 98,576 km2 (~40% of State)

Spruce-fir 18,584 (19%) Lodgepole 6,060 (7%) Mixed Conifer 7,272 (10%) Ponderosa 8,080 (8%) ~40,000 (44%)

PJ, Aspen, Oak, Riparian * 68% are on Federal Land


Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)

Lodgepole pine 0.61 million ha (7 % of CO forest land)

Lodgepole Regional Climate Vulnerability Moderate Risk Factors: Near southern range limit Elevation Range Shift: ~ 300 m Connectivity less in S Rockies than N


Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

Ponderosa pine forests and woodlands occupy ~0.8 million ha (8 % of CO forestland).

Low Regional Climate Vulnerability • Well north of southern range limit • Elevation range shifts possible • Connectivity across large scales may be limited by grasslands


Spruce-Fir (Picea engelmanni/ Abies lasiocarpa)

Spruce-fir 1.9 million ha (19% CO forestland) Southern Limit Southern Colorado spruce-fir ecosystems are ~ 200 km from the southern limit. Smaller, more fragmented patches not typical at higher latitudes. Elevation Shift (< 300 m) Potential for upward elevation shifts, though microsite conditions, geomorphic and soil limitations, reduced snowpack, and less moisture availability may inhibit establishment. Connectivity Large tracts of lower elevation land isolate these ecosystems and can constrain latitudinal range shifts, but may not necessarily limit shifts within the subalpine zone.


Observed Changes in S. Rockies Climate TEMPERATURE Increased Annual Average Temperature

1.1°C over the past 30 yrs Warming observed in most parts of the state

Daily Minimum Temperatures have Warmed More than Daily Maxima Increases in all seasons, largest in summer, followed by fall, spring, winter

Less Frequent Severe Cold Waves PRECIPITATION/WATER No Long-Term Trends in Annual Precipitation, but … Below Average Snowpack since 2000 1-4 Week Earlier Snowmelt & Peak Runoff: lower SWE, warming spring temperatures, enhanced solar absorption from dust‐on‐snow

More Frequent Soil Moisture Drought (PDSI): warming & below‐average precip Climate Change in Colorado 2014. Western Water Assessment, Univ of CO (Draft V 3)


Colorado Mountain Pine Beetle Event Current Outbreak started late 1990s Big Years 2004 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2011 (> 160,000 ha / yr) Peaked in 2008 (466,000 ha) 1.4 million cumulative hectares (since â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;96) Colorado 1200 1000 800

Lodgepole Ponderosa Limber - 5 Needle

600 400 200

2 -1 96

1 -1 96

0 -1 96

9 -0 96

8 -0 96

-0

7

0

96

Cumulative Area Affected (thousand hectares)

(0.6 + 0.7 + 0.8 million ha of LPP, MC, Pipo)


Raffa et al. 2008

Continental Patterns

British Columbia Cumulative MPB: 18.1 million ha Big years > 5 million ha /yr Peak: 10 million ha / yr (2007) Total Province Area: 94 million ha

1400 1200

Montana

1 million ha/yr

1000

500,000 ha/yr

800 600 400 200 0

20 04 20 05 20 06 20 07 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12

Annual Detection (1000 hectares)

1600

Montana Big years > 0.5 million /yr Peak: 1.5 million ha / yr (2009) Total State Area: 38 million ha

Colorado Cumulative MPB: 1.4 million ha Peak: <0.5 million ha/yr Total State Area: 27 million ha


Colorado â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Spatiotemporal Patterns

Earliest activity: distinct epicenters up to 100 km apart Drier, lower sites Zones merged over time Wetter, higher sites Multiple locations regional > local factors Lodgepole differs from ponderosa Chapman, T.B., T.T. Veblen, and T. Schoennagel. 2012. Spatiotemporal patterns of mountain pine beetle activity in the southern Rocky Mountains. Ecology 93:2175-2185.


Host Progression

1000 800

Lodgepole Ponderosa Limber - 5 Needle

600 400 200

2 -1 96

1 -1 96

0 -1 96

9 -0 96

96

-0

8

0

7

5 Needle

1200

-0

Lodgepole Ponderosa

Colorado

96

71% lodgepole; 26% ponderosa Increase in Ponderosa over time

Colorado

Cumulative Area Affected (thousand hectares)

2013 Areas


Southern Rockies Regional Trends S Dakota

Wyoming Lodgepole Ponderosa

5 Needle

Lodgepole Ponderosa

5 Needle

S. Dakota

Wyoming

161,600 ha

798,304 ha

Cumulative Area (‘96 – ’12)

Cumulative Area (‘96 – ’12) Colorado

Colorado Lodgepole Ponderosa

5 Needle

1,357,036 ha Cumulative Area (‘96 – ’12)


Regional Climate & Weather Factors Triggering Droughts 2001-2002: One of the most severe in 500 yrs

General Warming Warming since 1900, steep increase in last 50 yrs High Minimum Temps Outbreak coincides to 15 yrs with generally > average Oct, Jan, Mar min temps Chapman, T.B., T.T. Veblen, and T. Schoennagel. 2012. Spatiotemporal patterns of mountain pine beetle activity in the southern Rocky Mountains. Ecology 93:2175-2185.


Regional Patterns MPB activity synchronous over broad areas > MPBs dispersal distance

Warming & drought create favorable conditions Beetle enhanced vs Tree inhibited

Initial conditions no needed to sustain outbreak Host depletion ended event

Creeden, E.P., J.A. Hicke, and P.C. Buotte. 2014. Climate, weather, and recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the western United States. Forest Ecology and Management 312:239â&#x20AC;&#x201C;251.


Basal Area Losses in S. Rockies Lodgepole 74% 64% 60% 56% 46% 40%

MPB salvage areas (Collins et al. 2012) Rocky Mtn Natâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l Park â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Multiple pine types (Diskin et al. 2011) N. Colo Landsat analysis (Meddens & Hicke 2014) N. Colo initial 7 yrs of outbreak (Klutsch et al. 2009) 1980s outbreak; lodgepole & pine, spruce-fir (Pelz and Smith 2012) High elevation mixed pine, spruce-fir (Rhoades et al. unpub)

Colo/Wyo border Landsat Image 3-4 years per grid cell (900 m2 cell) 20% of grid cell / yr 60% mortality loss Meddens & Hicke. 2014. FEM (in press).


Spruce Beetle - (Dendroctonus rufipennis)

Spruce-fir 1.9 million ha (19% CO forestland) Started around 2000 460,000 ha since 1996 (~200k ha in WY) 160,792 ha in 2013 (> ½ are new areas) Entire drainages in 1 year


Western US Bark Beetle Activity

All Hosts including: MPB, Spruce beetle, Ips spp. Doug-fir beetle, Fir engraver

W. Canada W. US

19 million ha 17 “

47 million ac 43 “

Intermountain Colorado Montana Idaho Wyoming

9.0 2.7 2.5 2.1 1.5

22.0 6.6 6.2 5.2 3.6

“ “ “ “ “

“ “ “ “ “

Colorado 10 million ha of forest 6 million ha of conifer 4 million ha of high elevation conifer


Bark Beetle Activity in Southern Rockies Forests

Chuck Rhoades, Rob Hubbard & Kelly Elder M. Battaglia, P. Fornwalt, B. Collins, K. Pelz U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station Mountain Pine Beetle Information Exchange Forum Foothills Research Institute 23 April 2014


Western US Insect & Disease Risk 13.3 million Ac (25 %)

7.9 million Ac (12 %)


Meddens, A.J.H., and J.A. Hicke. 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of Landsat-based detection of tree mortality caused by a mountain pine beetle outbreak in Colorado, USA. For Ecol Mgmt (in press).


18.1 million hectares

Montana Annual Detection (1000 hectares)

1600 1400 1200

1.4 million hectares

1000 800 600 400 200

20 04 20 05 20 06 20 07 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11 20 12

0

2013 Summary of forest health conditions in British Columbia. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/HFP/external/!publish/Aerial_Overview/2013/Aerial%20overview%202013%20March%2024.pdf-


Over time outbreak spread from lower to higher elevations large, susceptible stands to small trees


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