Lecture-9-Whitebark-pine-conservation

Lecture-9-Whitebark-pine-conservation - Whitebark pine an...

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Unformatted text preview: Whitebark pine: an ongoing conserva3on challenge ÷༏  Lecture outline/goals: o  Whitebark pine: a keystone species o  Whitebark pine in BC – distribu3on and abundance o  Evidence for decline o  Causal agents •  Mountain pine beetle •  White pine blister rust o  Restora3on strategy o  Long- term effects of climate change 1 Whitebark pine - a keystone species … has a dispropor3onate effect on its environment rela3ve to its abundance; determines the types and numbers of various others species in a community ÷༏  ÷༏  ÷༏  ÷༏  Aesthe3cs and recrea3on Snow reten3on, streamflow regula3on Slope stability Forest establishment o  Early in succession, shelter for less hardy species ÷༏  Seeds as food for wildlife o  Grizzly and black bears, Clark’s nutcracker (mutualist) Clark’s nutcrackers and whitebark pine mutualism: what’s in it for the tree? ÷༏  Clark’s nutcrackers cache seeds (1 – 3cm deep) preferen3ally in open and burned areas o  Whitebark pine gains dis3nct advantage over other conifers in regenera3ng large, burned areas ÷༏  Each bird can cache as many as 22,000 seeds each year (not all of them are found and consumed) ÷༏  The habits of Clark's nutcrackers determine whitebark pine’s…. o  distribu3on o  site preference o  successional status o  popula3on age structure o  spacing Whitebark pine in Bri3sh Columbia ~5 610 km2 ÷༏  Western Canada (esp. BC), majority of whitebark pine range Whitebark pine in Bri3sh Columbia ÷༏  92% of whitebark pine in ESSF biogeoclima3c zone (861 – 2330m eleva3on) ÷༏  Remainder in MH, MS, PP, IDF, ICH, CWH, SBS, SBPS biogeoclima3c zones ESSF White bark pine Whitebark pine in Bri3sh Columbia Co- occurring species as % of whitebark pine range Non-Productive forest Productive Total Subalpine fir 89 86 87 Engelmann spruce 39 59 50 Lodgepole pine 18 31 25 Subalpine larch 11 3 7 Douglas-fir 4 3 4 Hemlock 2 4 3 Whitebark pine only 2 1 1 Ponderosa pine 0 0 <1 White pine 0 0 <1 Western red cedar 0 0 <1 Yellow cedar 0 0 <1 Cottonwood 0 0 <1 Birch 0 0 <1 Whitebark pine decline: North Coast mountains Dean River, Bella Coola. Photo: W. MacKenzie Whitebark pine decline: Central Coast mountains Photo: E. Campbell Whitebark pine decline: South Coast mountains Photo: E. Campbell Whitebark pine decline: Southern Interior Whitebark pine decline: South Kootenay Mountains Photo: E. Campbell Whitebark pine decline: Rocky Mountains Whitebark pine decline sta3s3cs ÷༏  Canada – no hard data ÷༏  In US, whitebark pine has declined from 34% of poten3al habitat (1900) to 19% currently (1990) Causes of whitebark pine decline ÷༏  Mountain pine beetle ÷༏  White pine blister rust ÷༏  Compe33on/replacement (fire suppression) ÷༏  Climate change × climate change MPB in whitebark: a new threat? Northern limit of Pa New Hazelton ÷༏  2005, 2006 aerial surveys detected MPB in northernmost por3ons of whitebark range - uninfested - MPB infested Smithers Houston 1941 - 1970 Climate change- induced range expansion Climatic suitability Very low Low Moderate High Extreme 1400 Historic suitability = “Very Low” 1200 1000 800 600 400 No. infestations 1970 971 200 0 1950 2500 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Historic suitability = “Low” 2000 1500 1000 500 1941 - 1970 0 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 From Carroll et al. 2004 MPB and whitebark decline ÷༏  Range expansion not just northward, but also to higher eleva3ons ÷༏  Increasing occurrence of epidemic MPB in whitebark pine stands MPB, whitebark pine, and a warming env’t 6000 (one genera3on per year) ÷༏  Rapid increase in popula3ons 5000 Infestation area (ha) ÷༏  Warming at higher eleva3ons allows MPB popula3ons to achieve adap3ve seasonality Whitebark pine, Sawtooth Valley, Idaho 4000 Warming environment 3000 4 generations / 5 years 1 generation / year 2000 1000 0 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 Year Adapted from Logan and Powell 2004 2000 2002 Whitebark pine habitat suitability for MPB 90 ÷༏  Historically, vast majority of whitebark pine in clima3cally unsuitable areas for MPB ÷༏  Currently, ≈6% of whitebark in areas suitable to MPB (≥moderate clima3c suitability) ÷༏  By 2041 – 2070, ≈30% of whitebark range predicted to be suitable to MPB (note: based on conserva3ve CC scenario) Very low 60 30 0 25 Past 20 15 Moderate 10 5 0 4 3 2 1 0 High Future % whitebark range Indirect MPB impacts ≈65% Old Young Age class ÷༏  Majority of whitebark in stands ≥200 yrs old (peak cone- bearing age) ÷༏  In these stands, whitebark abundance may be low due to compe33on in earlier seral stages (e.g. with lodgepole) ÷༏  In the absence of fire, MPB impacts will accelerate succession and replacement of whitebark with less- hardy shade tolerants (e.g. sub- alpine fir) White pine blister rust ÷༏  Introduced to western North America in 1910 (Vancouver) ÷༏  Affects 5- needle pines (e.g. whitebark, western white) ÷༏  Now occurs throughout range of whitebark pine ÷༏  Reduces cone/seed produc3on long before it causes tree mortality ÷༏  Spread/impacts exacerbated by climate change (moister, warmer)? Climate change and blister rust projec3ons ClimateBC projections of future climate: (average climate change scenario) ÷༏  Drier summers in the South ÷༏  Werer summers in the North ÷༏  Greatest increase in winter and spring temperatures with longer growing seasons in the North and at higher eleva3ons ➜ Decrease in blister rust- caused mortality in Southern BC ➜ Increase in blister rust impacts in North and at higher eleva3ons White pine blister rust infec3on rates ÷༏  Increasing incidence and intensity over the last 30 years Whitebark pine and blister rust in BC ÷༏  1 in 5 whitebark pine in BC dead (half due to blister rust, half due to other, i.e. MPB) ÷༏  Nearly 1 in 3 living whitebark pine are currently infected ÷༏  Two- thirds of infected trees exhibit stem cankers – usually a precursor to death (Other, MPB)* *Total MPB impacts from the current outbreak not yet assessed in BC whitebark pine From: Zeglen (2007) A range- wide restora3on strategy for whitebark pine (Keane et al. 2009) Objec3ves (strategies): Possible ac3vi3es (tac3cs): ÷༏  Promote rust resistance ÷༏  Conserve gene3c diversity ÷༏  Protect seed sources ÷༏  Support restora3on treatments ÷༏  Assess condi3on ÷༏  Gather seed ÷༏  Grow seedlings ÷༏  Protect seed sources ÷༏  Implement restora3on treatments ÷༏  Plant burned areas ÷༏  Monitor ac3vi3es ÷༏  Support research Whitebark restora3on: addi3onal concerns ÷༏  Consider MPB resistance ÷༏  CC scenario models to priori3ze conserva3on/restora3on ac3vi3es ÷༏  Prescribed burning where appropriate (remove/limit compe3ng vegeta3on) ÷༏  Accept that CC may limit relevance of restora3on ac3vi3es in parts of range* CC projec3ons: future whitebark habitat (Hamann & Wang 2006) ÷༏  Moderate scenario ÷༏  Model of whitebark occurrence by BEC subzone variant ÷༏  73% reduc3on in whitebark habitat by 2080s Ques3ons to review: ÷༏  What is a keystone species? ÷༏  Why is whitebark pine considered a keystone species? ÷༏  How is the rela3onship between whitebark pine and the Clark’s nutcracker mutualis3c? ÷༏  What are the two main causes of whitebark pine decline, and how has climate change exacerbated their effects? ÷༏  What restora3on strategies are being considered for whitebark pine, and what tac3cs area associated with them? ...
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  • Fall '13
  • Carroll
  • Pine, Trees of Idaho, Pinus classification, Whitebark Pine

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