Full Citation: Andrus, Robert A.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Harvey, Brian J.; Hart, Sarah J. 2016. Fire severity unaffected by spruce beetle outbreak in spruce-fir forests in southwestern Colorado. Ecological Applications 26(3):700-711.
External Identifier(s): 10.1890/15-1121 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains, Colorado, U.S.
Ecosystem types: Subalpine forests
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: fire severity, Colorado, spruce beetle, Dendroctonus rufipennis, subalpine forests, San Juan Mountains, fire intensity, fire weather, rate of spread, wildfires, disturbance, insects, plant diseases, stand characteristics, fire management, forest management, Abies lasiocarpa, subalpine fir, Dendroctonus ponderosae, MPB - mountain pine beetle, Picea engelmannii, Engelmann spruce, Pinus contorta, lodgepole pine, coniferous forest, subalpine forests

Fire severity unaffected by spruce beetle outbreak in spruce-fir forests in southwestern Colorado

Robert A. Andrus, Thomas T. Veblen, Brian J. Harvey, Sarah J. Hart


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors examined the effects of spruce beetle infestation on fire severity during the drought years of 2012 to 2013.


Publication findings:

The authors found that spruce beetle infestation (< 5 years) did not correlate to fire severity regardless of burning conditions. Instead topography, pre-outbreak basal area, climate and short-term weather conditions during the fires all had a stronger influence on fire severity.

Climate and Fire Linkages

Topography, pre-outbreak basal area, climate and short-term weather conditions during the fires all had a stronger influence on fire severity than spruce beetle infestation (< 5 years).

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The authors found that spruce beetle infestation (< 5 years) did not correlate to fire severity regardless of burning conditions. Instead topography, pre-outbreak basal area, climate and short-term weather conditions during the fires all had a stronger influence on fire severity.