Patterns in whitebark pine regeneration and their relationships to biophysical site characteristics in southwest Montana, central Idaho, and Oregon, USA

Evan R. Larson, Kurt F. Kipfmueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Declines of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) have occurred across much of the species' range over the last 40 years due to mountain pine beetle outbreaks and white pine blister rust infection. Management efforts to stem these declines are increasing, yet the long-term success of whitebark pine depends on the species itself adapting to the modern environment. Natural regeneration will be a critical part of this process. We examined patterns in natural whitebark pine regeneration as related to the biophysical environment in sixty 0.1 ha plots in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. Whitebark pine regeneration was present in 97% of our plots and varied widely in density from 0 to 17 000 seedlings/ha and 0 to 2680 saplings/ha. Using nonparametric correlation analysis and ordination techniques, we found whitebark pine regeneration abundance was unrelated to stand age but significantly related to several biophysical site characteristics, including positive relationships with elevation and canopy tree mortality caused by mountain pine beetle and negative relationships with moisture availability, temperature, and subalpine fir importance. Our findings indicate that whitebark pine is regenerating in many areas and that the widespread mortality from recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks may provide suitable settings for whitebark pine regeneration given sufficient seed sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns in whitebark pine regeneration and their relationships to biophysical site characteristics in southwest Montana, central Idaho, and Oregon, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this