Constance I. Millar, Nathan L. Stephenson
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Ecology
Ecosystem Changes
Insects & Disease
Fire & Bark Beetles
Fire & Wildlife
Mountain pine beetles

NRFSN number: 13722
Record updated: July 27, 2018

Although disturbances such as fire and native insects can contribute to natural dynamics of forest health, exceptional droughts, directly and in combination with other disturbance factors, are pushing some temperate forests beyond thresholds of sustainability. Interactions from increasing temperatures, drought, native insects and pathogens, and uncharacteristically severe wildfire are resulting in forest mortality beyond the levels of 20th-century experience. Additional anthropogenic stressors, such as atmospheric pollution and invasive species, further weaken trees in some regions. Although continuing climate change will likely drive many areas of temperate forest toward large-scale transformations, management actions can help ease transitions and minimize losses of socially valued ecosystem services.


Millar, C. I.; Stephenson, N. L. 2015. Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance. Science. 349(6250): 823-826

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