Category: Ecological Research
Title: Modeling the impacts of two bark beetle species under warming climate in the southwestern U.S.A.: ecological and economic consequences
Author: Waring, K.M., Reboletti, D.M., Mork, L.A., Li, M., Huang, C.H., Hofstetter, R.W., Garcia, A.M., * Fule, P.Z., Davis, T.S.
Subject: Climate, Bark beetle, Fire effects
Abstract: Predicted climate warming is expected to have profound effects on bark beetle population dynamics in the southwestern United States. Temperature-mediated effects may include increases in developmental rates, generations per year, and changes in habitat suitability. As a result, the impacts of Dendroctonus frontalis and Dendroctonus mexicanus on forest resources are likely subject to amplification. To assess the implications of such change, we evaluated the generations per year of these species under three climate scenarios using a degree-day development model. We also assessed economic impacts of increased beetle outbreaks in terms of the costs of application of preventative silvicultural treatments and potential economic revenues forgone. Across the southwestern USA, the potential number of beetle generations per year ranged from 1–3? under historical climate, an increase of 2– 4? under the minimal warming scenario and 3–5? under the greatest warming scenario. Economic benefits of applying basal area reduction treatments to reduce forest susceptibility to beetle outbreaks ranged from $7.75/ha (NM) to $95.69/ha (AZ) under historical conditions, and $47.96/ha (NM) to $174.58/ha (AZ) under simulated severe drought conditions. Basal area reduction treatments that reduce forest susceptibility to beetle outbreak result in higher net present values than no action scenarios. Coupled with other deleterious consequences associated with beetle outbreaks, such as increased wildfires, the results suggest that forest thinning treatments play a useful role in a period of climate warming.
Source: Environmental Management
Identifier: DOI 10.1007/s00267-009-9342-4