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A review of some interactions between harvesting, residue management, fire, and forest insects and diseases

Author(s): David G. Fellin
Year Published: 1979
Description:

Many species of insects and diseases create residues that predispose forests to fire. Conversely, natural factors such as fire, wind-throw, and other agents create forest residues that predispose forests to diseases and insects, including bark and cambium beetles, wood borers, and others. Man-made residues also predispose forests to insects and disease.

Harvesting practices, residue management, and fire management not only influence the behavior and impact of forest insects, but also can be used to suppress some insect and disease populations. These practices also have a profound influence--mostly negative--on forest floor and forest soil arthropods, many of which (in concert with wood-destroying fungi) are involved in both the micro- and macro-deterioration and dispersion of forest residues. Opinions vary concerning the value of removing residues through prescribed fire to manage forest insects and diseases. Harvesting, residue management, and fire management are inextricably tied to forest succession.

The interactions between harvesting, residues, fire, insects, and diseases have many implications for the resource manager. Future research should provide a better understanding of these interactions and will likely enhance our opportunity to reduce the negative impacts of many species of indigenous insects and diseases in managed forests.

Citation: Fellin, David G. 1980. A review of some interactions between harvesting, residue management, fire, and forest insects and diseases. In: Environmental consequences of timber harvesting in Rocky Mountain coniferous forests: symposium proceedings; 1979 September 11-13; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-90. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 335-414.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Insects & Disease, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Fuels
Ecosystem(s): Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 13140
TTRS (Tall Timbers Research Station) Number: 9508
Record updated: May 24, 2018