Fires and dwarf mistletoe in a Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine ecosystem

Kurt Kipfmueller, William L. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forests in the western U.S. are subject to a variety of pathogens, whose role in forest health is being questioned. The relationship of dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum Nutt. ex Engelm.) and time since stand-replacing fire was determined for part of the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming. Mean dwarf mistletoe rating (0-6 scale) was found to be 0.85 in the study area as a whole and ranged from 0-5.82. Of 43 stands examined, 51% contained mistletoe to some degree. Dwarf mistletoe infection was light in the majority of the sampled stands in the study area. Dwarf mistletoe infection characteristics generally increased with increasing time since stand-replacing fire but were highly variable. Mean dwarf mistletoe infection characteristics generally increased with tree size, but were also highly variable. Chi-square analysis indicates that trees surviving the most recent stand-replacing fire increased dwarf mistletoe infection rates in the post-fire stands. Dwarf mistletoe infection at the landscape scale is characterized by infection centers, as some stands have heavy mistletoe infection while stands of similar age have no mistletoe infection present. If prescribed fires are used to restore the health of lodgepole pine forests, these fires will need to be intense, stand-replacing burns. But, healthy lodgepole pine forests may always contain a mosaic of mistletoe infection centers and uninfected stands that require a spatial approach to health assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume108
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 20 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Santalales
Pinus contorta var. latifolia
Rocky Mountain region
mountain
ecosystems
ecosystem
infection
coniferous forests
Medicine Bow National Forest
Arceuthobium americanum
forest health
forest fire
medicine
forest fires
prescribed burning
pathogen

Keywords

  • Dendroecology
  • Dwarf mistletoe
  • Fire history
  • Forest health
  • Tree-rings

Cite this

Fires and dwarf mistletoe in a Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine ecosystem. / Kipfmueller, Kurt; Baker, William L.

In: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 108, No. 1-2, 20.08.1998, p. 77-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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