Southern pine beetle infestations in relation to forest stand conditions, previous thinning, and prescribed burning: evaluation of the Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program

  • Authors: Nowak, John T.; Meeker, James R.; Coyle, David R.; Steiner, Chris A.; Brownie, Cavell
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Journal of Forestry vol. 113 2015.
  • DOI: 10.5849/jof.15-002

Abstract

Since 2003, the Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program (SPBPP) (a joint effort of the USDA Forest Service and Southern Group of State Foresters) has encouraged and provided cost-share assistance for silvicultural treatments to reduce stand/forest susceptibility to the southern pine beetle (SPB)(Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann) in the southeastern United States. Until now, stand- and landscape-level tests of this program’s efficacy were nonexistent. In 2012, SPB outbreaks occurred in the Homochitto and Bienville National Forests (NFs) in Mississippi. Parts of each NF were treated (thinned) using SPBPP management recommendations, whereas other areas were untreated (unthinned). In the Homochitto NF, 99.7% of SPB spots occurred in unthinned stands, whereas all SPB spots occurred in unthinned stands in the Bienville NF. Unthinned stands in both NFs had higher basal area, higher stocking, and lower growth rates over the last decade. Burning also resulted in a lower incidence of SPB infestation. Our retrospective study results validate the effectiveness of SPBPP treatments for reducing stand- and landscape-level susceptibility to SPB, which encourages proper silvicultural methods that increase tree spacing, growth, and vitality, while effectively altering the in-stand atmosphere enough to interfere with SPB pheromone communication, thus reducing susceptibility to SPB spot initiation and spread.

  • Citation: Nowak, John T.; Meeker, James R.; Coyle, David R.; Steiner, Chris A.; Brownie, Cavell 2015. Southern pine beetle infestations in relation to forest stand conditions, previous thinning, and prescribed burning: evaluation of the Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program. Journal of Forestry vol 113 9 p.
  • Keywords: bark beetles, Dendroctonus frontalis, forest management, Pinus taeda, silviculture, Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program
  • Posted Date: July 9, 2015
  • Modified Date: July 13, 2015
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.