Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire

Date:
May 30, 2012
Source:
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
A recent report analyzing a range of published studies on the impact of bark beetles on trees in the US and Canada provides a more complete picture of the effect of this destructive insect on wildfires.

A recent report analyzing a range of published studies on the impact of bark beetles on trees in the U.S. and Canada provides a more complete picture of the effect of this destructive insect on wildfires.

Previously published studies reported a wide variety of -- and often contradictory -- conclusions about the bark beetles' effect on fuels and wildfire. A team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research and Pacific Northwest Research stations and the University of Idaho set out to identify key knowledge gaps by developing a conceptual model based on the review of 39 previously published studies. The scientists used the model to describe expected changes of fuels and fire behavior following bark beetle outbreaks.

Key findings, which appeared in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, include:

  • Bark beetle outbreaks can indeed affect fuels and fire behavior;
  • However, the types of change depend on time since outbreak and fuels or fire characteristic of interest;
  • Based on agreement and disagreement of the published studies, and the identified gaps in scientific knowledge, the paper's authors also assigned confidence levels to their conceptual model. Lower confidence levels occurred in fuels responses in the red phase, as well as in responses of crown fire behavior in red and gray phases;
  • The research question addressed in a study (comparison with other drivers of fire, such as climate or comparison with an unattacked stand) influenced its conclusions; and
  • These findings suggest that it is not possible to reliably generalize about the effects of bark beetle-caused tree mortality on fuels or fire characteristics.

"This study was prompted by concerns about the possibility of more extreme crown fire behavior in beetle-killed stands and public safety and structure loss, as well as impacts on firefighting operations," says co-author Jane Hayes, who also serves as assistant director of the Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Our aim was to synthesize available information to provide greater understanding to fire and resource managers who need to consider the effect of beetle-killed trees on future wildfire characteristics."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeffrey A. Hicke, Morris C. Johnson, Jane L. Hayes, Haiganoush K. Preisler. Effects of bark beetle-caused tree mortality on wildfire. Forest Ecology and Management, 2012; 271: 81 DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.02.005

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530152324.htm>.
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2012, May 30). Effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530152324.htm
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "Effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530152324.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins