This project is studying the effects of wildfire and combinations of prescribed fire and harvesting on insects and disease in naturally regenerated red pine, Pinus resinosa stands. Treatments include prescribed fire only, mechanical harvesting only and combination of prescribed fire and harvesting, as well as control areas. Treatments were applied in 2005-2006, with harvesting occurring in the fall of 2005 and prescribed fire treatments in the spring of 2006. Damage by red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus valens) was evaluated. Prior to treatment application, signs of red turpentine beetle attack were rare. After treatments (2007), the proportion of standing live trees attacked by red turpentine beetle was significantly higher in the burned treatment areas than the harvest only or control. Spore traps were utilized to monitor fungal shoot blight diseases. In 2006, Sirococcus spore counts were significantly lower in burned treatment areas than harvest only and control and significantly lower in harvest treatments than control. In the summers of 2008 and 2009, a similar plot design was applied to the nearby Sleeper Lake Wildfire. This fire was lightning-ignited and burned for several weeks in August of 2007. Flight intercept traps measured insect response in burned and unburned red and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) stands. Sticky traps were used to assess landing behavior on individual scorched red pines. Overstory conditions, understory vegetation and fire severity were also measured. Red turpentine beetle and pine engraver beetle (Ips pini) activity was specifically monitored following the wildfire.
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