British Columbia is currently experiencing the largest recorded mountain pine beetle outbreak in North America. This epidemic has resulted in widespread mortality of lodgepole pine, British Columbia interior’s most abundant tree species. As mountain pine beetle populations increase in southern British Columbia as well as at higher elevations there is also increasing mortality of both ponderosa and whitebark pine. The epidemic puts many forest values at risk and threatens the stability and economic well-being of many interior resource-dependent communities.
The provincial Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan identifies an overall goal to “sustain the long-term economic and environmental well-being of impacted communities, while dealing with the short-term consequences of the epidemic.” The Forest Science Program has several multi-faceted research projects under way that support many of the objectives identified in the Action Plan. Each year, landscape ecology researchers update the Provincial-Level Projections of the Current Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak [link] that predict the future extent of the mountain pine beetle outbreak. These projections are used in a wide variety of research projects, including models to assess hydrologic impacts to watersheds following both pine mortality and any subsequent salvage harvesting.
The Research Branch has developed a Mountain Pine Beetle Stewardship Research Strategy and a Mountain Pine Beetle Research Strategy Implementation Framework that identify and prioritize knowledge gaps associated with the mountain pine beetle outbreak and its impact on forest resources. Researchers actively participate on policy and technical committees to co-ordinate research and extension activities, and to ensure that information generated supports implementing the Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan and parallel initiatives within the Ministry, such as Forests for Tomorrow and the Future Forest Ecosystems Initiative.This web page provides a summary of the numerous mountain pine beetle research projects, extension activities, and consultations taking place within the Research Branch and regional Forest Science Programs. It is organized by the generic research disciplines defined by the Mountain Pine Beetle Stewardship Research Strategy [link]. In addition, the Ministry Library has an extensive bibliography on the mountain pine beetle. Other extensive and detailed information about the mountain pine beetle and the current outbreak can be found on the Ministry of Forests and Range mountain pine beetle home page.
Mountain Pine Beetle Stewardship Research Strategy and Mountain Pine Beetle Implementation Plan, Lead Co-ordination and Technical Advisory roles – Provided the Chief Forester with an analysis of forest stewardship needs and research knowledge gaps and priorities, identified by both client groups and researchers.Forests for Tomorrow
Mountain Pine Beetle Inventory and Monitoring Project Team, Forest Analysis and Inventory Branch – Providing technical advice to the Forest Analysis and Inventory Branch to develop new inventory/monitoring methods and procedures for mountain pine beetle-affected areas.
Mountain Pine Beetle Provincial Analysis Team – Mid-term Timber Supply Group, Forest Analysis and Inventory Branch – Providing technical input and tools for determining the impact of mountain pine beetle on mid-term timber supply by forest management unit.
Mountain Pine Beetle Survey Group, Inventory Branch – Using model analysis and mapping products to assist in developing a field sampling plan for infestation levels.
MPB Research Issues Co-ordinating Committee – Chairing a committee to coordinate research priorities and funding allocations between all the various research agencies and funding bodies.
Inventory and Timber Analysis Committee (ITAC)– Addressing inventory-related issues associated with mountain pine beetle, including updating forest inventory, creating various mapping products of mountain pine beetle mortality, estimating shelf life, and incorporating secondary structure into forest analysis.
First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative, Technical Support – Providing support to First Nations in the development of a strategy to address issues and concerns related to the effects of mountain pine beetle in traditional territories [more].
Mountain Pine Beetle Hydrologic Modelling Steering Committee – Providing technical advice for the Ministry of Environment's modelling of the mountain pine beetle epidemic's effects on Fraser Basin water flows.
Bravi, B. and B.K. Chapman. 2009. Managing for Pine Mushrooms through the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic in the West Chilcotin: Second Edition. B.C. Min. For. Range, S. Int. For. Reg., Kamloops, B.C. Exten. Note 09.
Krzic, M., L. Zabek, C.E. Bulmer, B.K. Chapman, and C. Tretheway. 2009. Soil properties and lodgepole pine growth on forest landings rehabilitated by tillage and fertilizer application. Can. J. Soil Sci. 89: 25-34.
Astrup, R., K.D. Coates, and E. Hall. 2008. Recruitment limitation in forests: Lessons from an unprecedented mountain pine beetle epidemic. For. Ecol. Manag. 256: 1743-1750.
Berch, S.M. and R.P. Brockley. 2008. Effects of repeated fertilization on fine roots, mycorrhizae, and soil mesofauna in young lodgepole pine and spruce forests in central British Columbia. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 84.
Brockley, R.P. 2008. Can thinning and fertilizing young lodgepole pine mitigate future timber supply challenges? B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 82.
Dubé, S. and J. Rex. 2008. Hydrologic effects of mountain pine beetle infestation and salvage-harvesting operations. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manage. 9(3):134.
Heemskerk, B.H., C. DeLong, and T. Milner. 2008. A framework for documenting the effects of the mountain pine beetle outbreak in sub-boreal forests of Northern British Columbia (E.P. 1369): Establishment Report. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Tech. Rep. 046.
Nigh, G.D., J.A. Antos, and R. Parish. 2008a. Density and distribution of advance regeneration in mountain pine beetle killed lodgepole pine stands of the Montane Spruce zone of southern British Columbia. Can. J. For. Res. 38(11): 2826-2836.
Nigh, G.D., J.A. Antos, and R. Parish. 2008b. Tools to help forest managers with regeneration decisions about beetle-killed stands in the Montane Spruce zone of the Merritt Timber Supply Area. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 83.
Nordin, L. 2008. The Bowron River watershed: A synoptic assessment of stream and riparian condition 20-30 years after salvage logging. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 86.
Nordin, L., D. Maloney, J. Rex, P. Krauskopf, P. Tschaplinski, and D. Hogan. 2008. The Bowron River Watershed: A Landscape Level Assessment of Post-Beetle Change in Stream Riparian Function. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2008-22. B.C. Min. For. Range, N. Int. For. Reg., Prince George, B.C. MPBI Project # 7.03. 35 p.
Nordin, L.J., J.F. Rex, D.A. Maloney, and P.J. Tschaplinski. 2008. Standardized Approaches in Effectiveness Monitoring Programs and Regional Relevance: Lessons from the Bowron River Watershed Riparian Evaluation Project. Can. J. For. Res. 38: 3130-3150.
Redding, T., R. Winkler, P. Teti, D. Spittlehouse, S. Boon, J. Rex, S. Dubé, R.D. Moore, A. Wei, M. Carver, M. Schnorbus, L. Reese-Hansen, and S. Chatwin. 2008. Mountain pine beetle and watershed hydrology. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manage. 9(3): 33-50.
Sanborn, P.T. and R.P. Brockley. . Litter decomposition in a young lodgepole pine - Sitka alder stand in the central interior of British Columbia. Plant and Soil. Submitted.
Teti, P. 2008. Sampling secondary structure on novel aerial photographs. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manage. 9(3): 98-100.
Winkler, R.D., J.F. Rex, P. Teti, D.A. Maloney, and T. Redding. 2008. Mountain pine beetle, forest practices, and watershed management. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 88.
Yanchuk, A.D. 2008. Genetics of bark beetle host choice and tree resistance: Possibilities for breeding, and the Red Queen running backwards? Paper presented at the 2008 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 16-19, 2008.
Yanchuk, A.D., J.C. Murphy, and K.F. Wallin. 2008. Evaluation of genetic variation of attack and resistance in lodgepole pine in the early stages of a mountain pine beetle outbreak. Tree Genetics and Genomes. 4(2): 171-180
Berch, S.M. and R. Brockley. 2007. Impacts of fertilization on soil biota of young lodgepole pine and interior spruce stands in the interior of British Columbia. Presentation at North American Forest Ecology Workshop, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Brockley, R.P. 2007. Effects of 12 years of repeated fertilization on the foliar nutrition and growth of young lodgepole pine in the central interior of British Columbia. Can. J. For. Res. 37: 2115-2129.
Brockley, R.P. 2007. Assessing the effects of fertilization on understorey vegetation in young lodgepole pine and spruce forests in central British Columbia. B.C. Min. For. Range, Victoria. Exten. Note 81.
Brockley, R.P and P. Sanborn. 2007. Assessing the effects of Sitka alder on the growth and foliar nutrition of young lodgepole pine in central British Columbia (SBSdw3): 9-year results. B.C. Min. For. Range, Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 79.
Brown, M., T.A. Black, Z. Nesic, A. Fredeen, P. Jackson, P. Burton, T. Trofymow, D. Spittlehouse, D. Gaumont-Guay, R. Ketler, D. Lessard, N. Grant, A. Sauter, V. Egginton, and A. Hum. 2007. Impact of the mountain pine beetle on the carbon balance of lodgepole pine stands in western Canada. Poster presented at the Kennedy Siding Mountain Pine Beetle Research Field Trip, Oct. 30, 2007.
Campbell, E., R. Alfaro, and B. Hawkes. 2007. Spatial distribution of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in relation to climate and stand characteristics: a dendroecological analysis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 49:168-178.
Campbell, E. and A. Carroll. 2007. Climate-related changes in the vulnerability of whitebark pine to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in British Columbia. Nutcracker Notes 12: 13-15.
DeLong, C., B. Heemskerk, and T. Milner. 2007. Monitoring ecological changes in MPB-impacted stands. FIA-FSP Forest Science Corner. FORREX Forest Research Extension Partnership. Link 8(1). [pdf]
de Montigny, L., G. Nigh, and R. Archer. 2007. MPB research stewardship strategy implementation framework. B.C. Min. For., Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. [pdf]
Klenner, W. and D. Lewis. 2007. Retention planning for wildlife habitat and biodiversity during salvage harvesting, and some obstacles to implementation. In Overcoming obstacles to variable retention in forest management: Science to management forum proc., Sep. 25-27, 2007. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manage. 8(3):157-163. [pdf]
Lindgren, P.M.F., T.P. Sullivan, D.S. Sullivan, R.P. Brockley, and R. Winter. 2007. Growth response of young lodgepole pine to thinning and repeated fertilization treatments: 10-year results. Forestry. 80(5): 587-611.
Newsome, T.A. 2007. Stand tending or rehabilitation: can height growth in height-repressed lodgepole pine stands be increased? B.C. Min. For. Range, S. Int. For. Reg., Kamloops, B.C. Exten. Note 07. [pdf]
Redding, T. and R. Pike. 2007. Mountain pine beetle and watershed hydrology: Workshop summary. Streamline 11(1). [pdf]
Redding, T., R.G. Pike, and P. Teti. 2007. Understanding mountain pine beetle and salvage harvesting effects on hydrological processes and watershed response. Poster Presentation. Mountain Pine Beetle and Watershed Hydrology Workshop: Preliminary Results of Research from BC and Alberta. Jul. 10, 2007. Kelowna. B.C. [pdf]
Spittlehouse, D.L. 2007. The influence of mountain pine beetle on site water balance of lodgepole pine forests. Workshop presentation at: Mountain pine beetle and watershed hydrology workshop: preliminary results of research from B.C., Alberta and Colorado. FORREX, B.C. Min. For. Range, B.C. Min. Environ., Canadian Water Resources Association. Jul. 10, 2007, Kelowna, B.C. [abstracts]
Steen, O.A., M.J. Waterhouse, H.M. Armleder, and N.M. Daintith. 2007. Natural regeneration of lodgepole pine following partial cutting on northern caribou winter range in west-central British Columbia. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manage. 8(1):61-74. [pdf]
Steventon, J.D. 2007. Landscape strategies for mountain pine beetle management: Some stewardship implications. Forest Science Program, Forest Innovation and Investment, B.C. Min. For. Range. Victoria, B.C. Annu. Progress Rep.
Steventon, J.D. and F. Doyle. 2007. Role of complex stands in conserving vertebrate diversity in beetle affected landscapes. Presentaion to Complex Stands Research and Management Conference. Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research and Management, Smithers, B.C. Mar. 2007. [pdf]
Walton, A. and J. Hughes. 2007. Provincial-level projection of the current mountain pine beetle outbreak: Documentation of revisions to the model resulting in BCMPB.v4. [link]
Walton, A., J. Hughes, M. Eng, A. Fall, T. Shore, B. Riel, and P. Hall. 2007. Provincial-level projection of the current mountain pine beetle outbreak: update of the infestation projection based on the 2006 provincial aerial overview of the forest health and revisions to “the model” (BCMPB.v4). [link]
Xie, C.-Y., J.C. Murphy, and M.R. Carlson. 2007. Predicting individual breeding values and making forward selections for seed production of interior lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta ssp. latifolia) in British Columbia. New Forests. 33(2): 125-138.
Berch S.M., R.P. Brockley, J. Battigelli, S. Hagerman, and B. Holl. 2006. Impacts of repeated fertilization on components of the soil biota under a young lodgepole pine stand in the interior of British Columbia. Can. J. For. Res. 36(6):1415–1426.
Brockley, R.P 2006. Comparing the effects of urea and ammonium nitrate fertilizers on the growth and foliar nutrition of lodgepole pine: 6-year results. B.C. Min. For. Range, Victoria, B.C. Exten. Note 78.
Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Planning Biodiversity Conservation Strategy Committee. 2006. An integrated strategy for management of biodiversity and bark beetles in Douglas-fir and spruce stands. Cariboo Managers Committee, Biodiversity Update 7b. [pdf]
Coates, K.D., E.C. Hall, and R. Astrup. 2006. Improving prediction of juvenile tree growth in mountain pine beetle damaged stands. Extension Note. Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research and Management, Smithers B.C. Exten. Note.
Dube, S., B. Chapman, and S. Berch. 2006. Monitoring soil disturbance on harvested areas within the Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation. Final Tech. Rep. FIS-Forest Science Program project number: M065005.
Nigh, G., L. de Montigny, M. Eng, and R. Archer. 2006. Development of a research strategy for mountain pine beetle issues associated with Forest Stewardship Division Functions. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Tech. Rep. 034.
Klenner, W. 2006. Retention strategies to maintain habitat structure and wildlife diversity during the salvage harvesting of mountain pine beetle attack areas in the southern interior forest region. B.C. Min. For. Range, S. Int. For. Reg. Exten. Note RSI-04. [pdf]
Rex, J. and S. Dubé. 2006. Predicting the risk of wet ground areas in the Vanderhoof Forest District: Project description and progress report. B.C. J. Ecosystems and Manage. 7(2):57-71.
Steventon, J.D. 2006. Northern flying squirrels and red squirrels: is there life after beetles and logging? Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research and Management. Exten. Note 2. 6pp. [pdf]
Uulina, L., B. Guy, and R.G. Pike. 2006. Hydrologic effects of mountain pine beetle in the interior pine forest of British Columbia: Key questions and current knowledge. Streamline Watershed Manage. Bull. 9(2) [pdf]