Whitebark Pine Stand Dynamics At Morrell Mountain, Montana

13TH ANNUAL NORTH AMERICAN DENDROECOLOGICAL FIELDWEEK, 2003 http://dendrolab.indstate.edu/nadef/


Lori D. Daniels, Sarah Butler, Patsy Clinton, Bharath Ganesh-Babu,
Kate Hrinkevich, Allison Kanoti, Eric Keeling, Sonya Powell, and James Speer


We used dendroecological methods to assess disturbance history and population
dynamics of whitebark pine and subalpine fir at Morrell Mountain, Lolo National Forest, Montana. Our goal was to test the hypothesis that subalpine fir is replacing whitebark pine due to the cumulative effects of white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle, and fire suppression during the 20th century. Live canopy dominant white bark pine were up to 566 years old and had established between 1436 and 1620. Crossdated samples from snags indicated they died between 1776 and 2002. Blue-stain fungi in the sapwood of many trees showed that mountain pine beetle commonly contributed to tree death. The radial growth rates of “declining” versus “healthy” whitebark pines (with and without crown dieback, respectively) were not significantly different, although the ring-widths of declining trees decreased significantly between 1801 and 2000. Interactions between
blister rust and mountain pine beetle warrant further investigation. Subalpine fir were 86 to 307 years of age although diameters at breast height were


Daniels, L.D. 2004. Reading between the lines: tree-ring analysis of a whitebark pine stand Nutcracker Notes 6:7.

Daniels, L.D., S. Butler, P. Clinton, B. Ganesh-Babu, K. Hrinkevich, A. Kanote, E. Keeling, S. Powell & G.E. Speer. 2006. Whitebark pine stand dynamics at Morrell Mountain, Montana. Pp. 15-29 in Speer, J.H. (ed.) Field-Based Educational Investigations: Examples from the 14th Annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek. Indiana State University, Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, Professional Paper Series No. 23.