UBC Undergraduate Research

Management of mountain pine beetle attacked stands : strategies for increasing midterm timber supply Bruemmer, Matthew R.


British Columbia has recently experienced the largest outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) in recorded history. Although the amount of timber killed has declined since 2005, the after-effects of the epidemic are still not fully understood. MPB acts like a thinning from above, allowing the release of an understory of advance regeneration and subsequent development of an uneven-aged stand of shade tolerant conifers. MPB has been most significant in the Sub Boreal Spruce (SBS) and Sub-Boreal Pine Spruce (SBPS) biogeoclimatic zones. In these zones, among others, MPB has had impacts on numerous forest values. Of significant importance are the effects of MPB on the midterm timber supply. This paper reviews, synthesizes and discusses literature on the stand dynamics and development of MPB-attacked stands as well as silviculture strategies for increasing midterm timber supply. These strategies include: leaving secondary structure in MPB-attacked stands, thinning, spacing, and fertilizing of advance regeneration and other young stands, and fill and under-planting attacked stands that are under-stocked. Forest managers need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies as well as the situations in which they are appropriate in order to make sound forest management decisions.

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