Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle

The mountain pine beetle (MPB) Dendroctonus ponderosae, is a species of bark beetle native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia. It has a hard black exoskeleton, and measures about 5 mm, about the size of a grain of rice.

Mountain pine beetles inhabit ponderosa, lodgepole, Scotch and limber pine trees. Normally, these insects play an important role in the life of a forest, attacking old or weakened trees, and speeding development of a younger forest. However, unusual hot, dry summers and mild winters in central British Columbia during the last few years, along with forests filled with mature lodgepole pine, have led to an unprecedented epidemic.

It may be the largest forest insect blight ever seen in North America. Climate change is said by some to have contributed to the size and severity of the outbreak, and the outbreak itself may, with similar infestations, have significant effects on the capability of northern forests to remove greenhouse gas (CO2) from the atmosphere.

Read more about Mountain Pine BeetleTree Infestations, Life Cycle, Management Techniques, Timber Quality, Fire Hazards, Current Outbreak, Effect On The Carbon Cycle, Effect On Water Resources, Biofuel/alternative Energy Production From Beetle-killed Trees

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Famous quotes containing the words beetle, mountain and/or pine:

    The sense of death is most in apprehension,
    And the poor beetle that we tread upon
    In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
    As when a giant dies.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    The mountain throws a shadow,
    Thin is the moon’s horn;
    What did we remember
    Under the ragged thorn?
    Dread has followed longing,
    And our hearts are torn.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    A few pieces of fat pine were a great treasure. It is interesting to remember how much of this food for fire is still concealed in the bowels of the earth.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)