Host tree mortality from bark beetle outbreak

Photo by Michele Buonanduci

While drivers of bark beetle outbreaks have been studied extensively at spatial scales ranging from stands to continents, within-stand processes governing individual tree mortality in an outbreak are less well understood. Here we used a spatially explicit long-term monitoring dataset of over 9,000 individually measured and mapped trees in the Fraser Experimental Forest (CO, USA) to explore interactions among fine scale drivers of beetle-caused tree mortality. Using a Bayesian spatial modeling approach, we evaluated how tree scale and tree neighborhood scale characteristics interact with tree size to mediate host tree susceptibility to mountain pine beetle outbreak in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

I completed this project as part of my Master’s thesis, entitled “Modeling individual lodgepole pine mortality from mountain pine beetle outbreak in a spatially explicit framework”, which I defended in November 2019.

Michele S. Buonanduci
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include spatial analysis, landscape ecology, and forest ecology.