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Forests 2016, 7(4), 80; doi:10.3390/f7040080

Disturbance Agents and Their Associated Effects on the Health of Interior Douglas-Fir Forests in the Central Rocky Mountains

1
Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
2
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Ogden, UT 84403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yves Bergeron and Sylvie Gauthier
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
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Abstract

Interior Douglas-fir is a prevalent forest type throughout the central Rocky Mountains. Past management actions, specifically fire suppression, have led to an expansion of this forest type. Although Douglas-fir forests cover a broad geographic range, few studies have described the interactive effects of various disturbance agents on forest health conditions. In this paper, we review pertinent literature describing the roles, linkages, and mechanisms by which disturbances, including insect outbreaks, pathogens, fire, and other abiotic factors, affect the development, structure, and distribution of interior montane forests primarily comprised of Douglas-fir. We also discuss how these effects may influence important resource values such as water, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, timber, and recreation. Finally, we identify gaps where further research may increase our understanding of these disturbance agents, their interacting roles, and how they influence long-term forest health. View Full-Text
Keywords: interior Douglas-fir forest; Douglas-fir beetle; western spruce budworm; disturbance; forest health; mixed-severity fire interior Douglas-fir forest; Douglas-fir beetle; western spruce budworm; disturbance; forest health; mixed-severity fire
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giunta, A.D.; Jenkins, M.J.; Hebertson, E.G.; Munson, A.S. Disturbance Agents and Their Associated Effects on the Health of Interior Douglas-Fir Forests in the Central Rocky Mountains. Forests 2016, 7, 80.

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