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Bark beetle infestation of western US forests: A context for assessing and evaluating impacts

Author(s): Daniel W. McCollum, John E. Lundquist
Year Published: 2020

Bark beetles are primary disturbance agents in western US forests. Outbreaks affect goods and services associated with forest ecosystems including timber, water, fish and wildlife habitats and populations, recreation opportunities, and many others. They can also affect wildfire behavior and its intensity. Assessments and evaluations of such impacts are important information to land managers, policy makers, and forest stakeholders, as well as to the broader public. Arriving at a complete and accurate assessment and evaluation is a complex process that necessarily considers effects and impacts on a variety of resources affecting diverse stakeholders over time and space. Within that complex process are interactions and feedbacks between ecological factors and socioeconomic factors. We argue that ecosystem goods and services are an operative bridge between those ecological factors and socioeconomic factors. Hence, they provide a context in which to systematically identify effects and affected resources and consider interactions and feedbacks among them which lead to further impacts. Such a context enhances one’s ability to reveal, assess, and evaluate the full range and scope of impacts.

Citation: McCollum, Daniel W.; Lundquist, John E. 2019. Bark beetle infestation of western US forests: A context for assessing and evaluating impacts. Journal of Forestry. 117(2): 171-177. doi: 10.1093/jofore/fvy041
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Wildlife, Fire & Economics, Fire & Wildlife, Invertebrates, Mountain pine beetles
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
Hot Topic(s):
NRFSN number: 21007
Record updated: Apr 13, 2020