Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FII Project R04-083

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Western hemlock looper in coastal BC: Disturbance regime and implications for forest management

Author(s): Daniels, Lori (University of British Columbia)
Subject: Entomology, Forestry
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


The current western hemlock looper outbreak in coastal BC provides a rare opportunity to examine the susceptibility and causes of outbreaks, the influence of outbreaks on forest composition, structure and dynamics, the spatial and temporal attributes of the disturbance regime, and the implications to sustainable forest management over short and long periods. Our focus is on the Coquitlam watershed, where we have spatially-explicit, permanent plot data on insect population dynamics and forest composition and structure for the last 10 years (1993-2003). We will complement these data with intensive field sampling to document the immediate effects of defoliation on the forest. Retrospective analysis using historical records and tree-ring reconstructions will expand the study to assess timing and frequency of outbreaks over several centuries. Our results will have direct application to watershed management, spotted owl habitat, management of timber, susceptibility ratings for forest fires and subsequent western hemlock looper outbreaks, and watershed management.

For further information, please contact Lori Daniels, University of British Columbia (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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