Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:05 AM

Effects of prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments on insect pests at Muskrat Lakes Red Pine Site, Michigan

Rita M. Koch, rmkoch@mtu.edu1, Linda M. Haugen, lhaugen@fs.fed.us2, Linda M. Nagel, lmnagel@mtu.edu1, Michael E. Ostry, mostry@fs.fed.us3, and Andrew J. Storer, storer@mtu.edu1. (1) Michigan Technological University, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI, (2) USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, S&PF, 1992 Folwell Avenue, Saint Paul, MN, (3) USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station, 1561 Lindig Street, Saint Paul, MN

This project is studying the effects of harvesting and fire on insects, pathogens, and understory diversity in naturally regenerated red pine, Pinus resinosa. Treatments include fire only, mechanical harvesting only, a combination of harvesting and fire, and untreated control. In 2004-2005, pre-treatment data were collected from twenty 0.04-hectare plots in each of twelve 10+ hectare treatment areas. All trees in these plots were measured and tagged. Forest floor fuel data was collected. Spore traps measured the presence of shoot blight fungi in the genera Sirococcus and Sphaeropsis. Pitfall traps were used to assess the diversity of ground-dwelling arthropods. Forest health and understory vegetation data were collected. Treatments were applied in 2005-2006, with the harvest occurring in fall 2005 and prescribed fire treatments in spring 2006. Post-treatment data were collected in summer 2006 and again in 2007. Change in fuels was calculated following the burns. Damage by red turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus valens) was evaluated. Red turpentine beetle activity was measured by observing pitch tubes in stumps and live trees. Before the treatments, signs of red turpentine beetle attack were rare. Following treatment, over 25% of cut stumps were attacked in burned and unburned harvested areas. The highest rate of attack in standing trees (11%) occurred in the harvested and burned treatment areas. Lower attack rates (1-2%) occurred in other non-control treatment areas. The control treatments showed no red turpentine beetle activity.

Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae (Scolytinae) Dendroctonus valens (red turpentine beetle)