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Whitebark Pine Restoration and Management

Populations of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) are declining throughout most of the species range because of high levels of mortality from the exotic fungal pathogen (Cronartium ribicola) that causes the disease white pine blister rust in five-needle pines, and periodic upsurges of the endemic mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). The absence of fire in some forests has also led to advanced succession of shade-tolerant species and subsequent reductions in whitebark pine. Finally, increased atmospheric warming and associated effects from altered precipitation patterns further threaten to reduce the geographic distribution of the species. Precipitous declines in whitebark pine have cascading effects throughout the ecosystem primarily because of the subalpine and treeline positions the species occupies. When forest stands succumb to mortality, few if any other species exist to fill the structural and functional roles of whitebark pine. Notably, whitebark pine presence dampens snow melt, stabilizes soils, provides cover and birthing habitat, and its seeds are highly nutritious and consumed by a wide array of vertebrate species. For over thirty years researchers and managers have sought to understand whitebark pine ecology, and to devise and implement procedures to reduce population decline and restore these valuable high-elevation ecosystems. The documents presented in this Hot Topic are a collection of the key contributions from this effort.

This hot topic was developed in partnership with the Fire Effects Information System.

Upcoming Events

None.

Webinars/Videos

National Whitebark Pine Summit Current Regional Restoration Plans
Nov 7, 2017
Robert E. Keane, A. D. Bower, Dana L. Perkins, Melissa Jenkins, Kristin Legg, M. F. Mahalovich

Syntheses

Publications/Reports

2019 Special Issue "Ecology and Restoration of Whitebark Pine"
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
2019 Whitebark Pine in Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic National Parks: Assessment of Stand Structure and Condition in a Management and Conservation Perspective
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Jenell I. Jackson, Sean B. Smith, Jonathan C. B. Nesmith, Leigh Ann Starcevich, Jennifer S. Hooke, Steve Buckley, Erik S. Jules
2018 Putting climate adaptation on the map: Developing spatial management strategies for whitebark pine in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Kathryn Ireland, Andrew J. Hansen, Robert E. Keane, Kristin Legg, Rob Gump
2018 Ecological effects and effectiveness of silvicultural restoration treatments in whitebark pine forests
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Colin T. Maher, Cara R. Nelson, Andrew J. Larson, Anna Sala
2017 Fire history and fire-climate interactions in high elevation whitebark pine dominated forest
Technical Report or White Paper
Alan H. Taylor, Catherine Airey Lauvaux
2017 Evaluating future success of whitebark pine ecosystem restoration under climate change using simulation modeling
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert E. Keane, Lisa M. Holsinger, M. F. Mahalovich, Diana F. Tomback
2017 Recent and future climate suitability for whitebark pine mortality from mountain pine beetles varies across the western US
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Polly C. Buotte, Jeffrey A. Hicke, Haiganoush K. Preisler, John T. Abatzoglou, Kenneth F. Raffa, Jesse A. Logan
2017 Separating Trends in Whitebark Pine Radial Growth Related to Climate and Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Saskia L. van de Gevel, Evan R. Larson, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
2016 Complex challenges of maintaining whitebark pine in Greater Yellowstone under climate change: A call for innovative research, management, and policy approaches
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Andrew J. Hansen, Kathryn Ireland, Kristin Legg, Robert E. Keane, Edward Barge, Martha Jenkins, Michiel Pillet
2016 Conservation and management of whitebark pine ecosystems
Synthesis, Technical Report or White Paper
Dana L. Perkins, Robert E. Means, Alexia C. Cochrane
2016 Climate influences on whitebark pine mortality from mountain pine beetle in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Polly C. Buotte, Jeffrey A. Hicke, Haiganoush K. Preisler, John T. Abatzoglou, Kenneth F. Raffa, Jesse A. Logan
2016 A 20-year reassessment of the health and status of whitebark pine forests in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Montana
Technical Report or White Paper
Signe B. Leirfallom, Robert E. Keane, Molly L. Retzlaff
2015 Fire enhances whitebark pine seedling establishment, survival, and growth
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Judy L. Perkins
2015 The effects of seed source health on whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) regeneration density after wildfire
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Signe B. Leirfallom, Robert E. Keane, Diana F. Tomback, Solomon Z. Dobrowski
2015 Whitebark pine workshop: science, management, and community
Technical Report or White Paper
Corey L. Gucker
2012 Whitebark Pine Stand Condition, Tree Abundance, and Cone Production as Predictors of Visitation by Clark's Nutcracker
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
L.E. Barringer, Diana F. Tomback, Michael B. Wunder, Shawn T. McKinney
2012 A range-wide restoration strategy for whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis)
Technical Report or White Paper
Robert E. Keane, Diana F. Tomback, C. A. Aubry, A. D. Bower, Elizabeth M. Campbell, Cathy L. Cripps, M. B. Jenkins, M. F. Mahalovich, Mary Manning, Shawn T. McKinney, Michael P. Murray, Dana L. Perkins, C. A. Ryan, Anna W. Schoettle, Cyndi M. Smith
2010 Restoring whitebark pine ecosystems in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert E. Keane, Russell A. Parsons
2010 Blister rust and western forest biodiversity: ecology, values and outlook for white pines
Book or Chapter or Journal Article, Synthesis
Diana F. Tomback, Peter Achuff
2009 Invasive pathogen threatens bird-pine mutualism: implications for sustaining a high-elevation ecosystem
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Shawn T. McKinney, Carl E. Fiedler, Diana F. Tomback
2009 Tree squirrel habitat selection and predispersal seed predation in a declining subalpine conifer
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Shawn T. McKinney, Carl E. Fiedler
2007 Whitebark pine diameter growth response to removal of competition
Technical Report or White Paper
Robert E. Keane, Kathy L. Gray, Laura J. Dickinson
2007 The influence of white pine blister rust on seed dispersal in whitebark pine
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Shawn T. McKinney, Diana F. Tomback
2006 Whitebark pine in peril: a case for restoration
Technical Report or White Paper
John W. Schwandt
2006 Whitebark pine guidelines for planting prescriptions
Conference Proceedings
Joe H. Scott, Ward W. McCaughey
2005 Distribution of bark beetle attacks after whitebark pine restoration treatments: a case study
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Kristen M. Waring, Diana L. Six
2001 Water use by whitebark pine and subalpine fir: potential consequences of fire exclusion in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Anna Sala, Elieen V. Carey, Robert E. Keane, Ragan M. Callaway
2001 Delayed seed germination in whitebark pine and regeneration patterns following the Yellowstone fires
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Diana F. Tomback, Angela J. Anderies, Katherine S. Carsey, Mary L. Powell, Sabine Mellmann-Brown
2001 Whitebark pine communities: ecology and restoration
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
2000 Landscape trends (1753-1993) of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) forests in the west big hole range of Idaho/Montana
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Michael P. Murray, Stephen C. Bunting, Michael P. Murray
2000 Comparing historic and modern forests on the Bitterroot Front
Conference Proceedings
Michael G. Hartwell, Paul B. Alaback, Stephen F. Arno
1996 Whitebark pine ecosystem restoration in western Montana
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert E. Keane, Stephen F. Arno
1993 Rapid decline of whitebark pine in western Montana: evidence from 20-year re-measurements
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Robert E. Keane, Stephen F. Arno
1986 Whitebark pine cone crops - a diminishing source of wildlife food
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Stephen F. Arno
1982 Dispersal of whitebark pine seeds by Clark's nutcracker: A mutualism hypothesis
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Diana F. Tomback
1982 The central role of Clark's nutcracker in the dispersal and establishment of whitebark pine
Book or Chapter or Journal Article
H.E. Hutchins, R. M. Lanner