Fuel complex alterations associated with spruce beetle-induced tree mortality in Intermountain spruce/fir forests
Document Type: Journal
Author(s): C. A. Jorgensen ; M. J. Jenkins
Publication Year: 2011

Cataloging Information

  • Abies lasiocarpa
  • bark beetles
  • coniferous forests
  • Dendroctonus
  • Dendroctonus rufipennis
  • Engelmann spruce
  • Engelmann spruce
  • fire and fuels
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel types
  • litter
  • mortality
  • national forests
  • overstory
  • Picea engelmannii
  • plant diseases
  • spruce beetle
  • spruce beetle
  • stand characteristics
  • statistical analysis
  • subalpine fir
  • surface fuels
  • Utah
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 51063
Tall Timbers Record Number: 27833
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Tree mortality caused during extensive outbreaks of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis Kirby [Coleoptera: Curculionidae]) has been assumed to increase hazardous fuel loads and consequently influence fire behavior, occurrence, and effects. However, little research has been done to quantify or qualify how spruce beetle-induced tree mortality may alter fuel complexes during the course of an outbreak. The objective of our research was to determine how fuel complexes differ between stands with endemic populations of spruce beetle, stands experiencing current outbreaks, and stands with postoutbreak spruce beetle-induced tree mortality. We measured ground, surface, and aerial fuels in spruce fir stands assigned into one of three spruce beetle condition classes: endemic, epidemic, or postepidemic. These stands were located on the Manti-LaSal and Fish lake National Forests in southcentral and southern Utah. We used analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare mean differences in stand attributes and fuel variables between the three spruce beetle condition classes. The mean amount of down woody surface fuel (tonnes/ha) in the 100-hour size class in epidemic stands was significantly greater than that in endemic stands. Mean litter depth and amount was significantly greater in epidemic stands than in endemic and postepidemic stands. A significant increase for most estimates of live and dead herbaceous material was detected in epidemic stands and postepidemic stands compared with that in stands not affected by the spruce beetle. Likewise, significant increases in live shrub material were detected in postepidemic stands. Spruce fir stands also had significantly less live aerial fuels after outbreaks than endemic stands. © 2011 by the Society of American Foresters. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Jorgensen, C. A., and M. J. Jenkins. 2011. Fuel complex alterations associated with spruce beetle-induced tree mortality in Intermountain spruce/fir forests. Forest Science, v. 57, no. 3, p. 232-240.