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Fact Sheet 2013–3095

Mountain Pine Beetle Impacts on Vegetation and Carbon Stocks

By Todd J. Hawbaker, Jennifer S. Briggs, Megan K. Caldwell, and Susan Stitt

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.7 MB)Abstract

In the Southern Rocky Mountains, an epidemic outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) has caused levels of tree mortality unprecedented in recorded history. The impacts of this mortality on vegetation composition, forest structure, and carbon stocks have only recently received attention, although the impacts of other disturbances such as fires and land-use/land-cover change are much better known.

This study, initiated in 2010, aims to increase our understanding of MPB outbreaks and their impacts. We have integrated field-collected data with vegetation simulation models to assess and quantify how long-term patterns of vegetation and carbon stocks have and may change in response to MPB outbreaks and other disturbances.

First posted January 3, 2014

For additional information contact:
Director, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, MS-980
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046

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Suggested citation:

Hawbaker, T.J., Briggs, J.S., Caldwell, M.K., and Stitt, Susan, 2013, Mountain pine beetle impacts on vegetation and carbon stocks: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2013–3095, 2 p.,

ISSN 2327-6916 (print)

ISSN 2327-6932 (online)

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