Is the Bark Stronger Than the Bite? The Use of Models to Predict Bark Beetle-Induced Tree Mortality

Bark beetles can cause widespread tree mortality by disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. These trees are critical in sequestering carbon from greenhouse gas emissions. By accounting for beetle phenology as well as tree physiology, modeling can help predict bark-beetle induced tree mortality that can result from climate change.

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Thirsty trees are more susceptible to damaging beetle infestation

Summer, winter, and multi-year drought events initiate outbreaks of the damaging spruce beetle. Droughts suppress the ability of trees to produce chemicals to defend themselves against the fatal bugs.

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