Tree Frog Forestry News

Forests bouncing back from beetles, but elk and deer slowing recovery

By University of Colorado at Boulder
Science Daily
February 13, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New research reveals that even simultaneous bark beetle outbreaks are not a death sentence to the state’s beloved forests. The study found that high-elevation forests in the southern Rocky Mountains actually have a good chance of recovery, even after overlapping outbreaks with different kinds of beetles. One thing that is slowing their recovery down: Foraging elk and deer. …The study is the first to consider the effects of two different types of beetles that affect two different dominant tree species, as well as the effects of browsing elk and deer in the same area. Bark beetles prefer bigger, mature trees with thicker bark, which offer more nutrients and better protection in the wintertime. They typically leave the younger, juvenile trees alone — allowing the next generation to recover and repopulate the forest. But while in the field, researchers noticed many smaller trees were being munched on by elk and deer. 

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