A DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WESTERN SPRUCE BUDWORM, CHORISTONEURA OCCIDENTALIS FREEMAN, IN THE SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS (COLORADO, NEW MEXICO)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/184101
Title:
A DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WESTERN SPRUCE BUDWORM, CHORISTONEURA OCCIDENTALIS FREEMAN, IN THE SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS (COLORADO, NEW MEXICO)
Author:
SWETNAM, THOMAS WILLIAM
Issue Date:
1987
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Tree-ring chronologies from ten mixed conifer stands in the Colorado Front Ranges and New Mexico Sangre de Cristo Mountains were used to reconstruct timing, duration, and radial growth impacts of past outbreaks of western spruce budworm, Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman. Graphical and statistical comparisons of tree-ring chronologies from host and non-host tree species, in conjunction with Forest Service records of outbreaks during the twentieth century, revealed that outbreaks were identifiable only in the host chronologies as sharply reduced growth periods. These comparisons also showed that host and non-host tree-ring chronologies were generally similar between outbreaks and that both were responding in a similar manner to climatic variation. A study of defoliation and insect population data that was available for the New Mexico stands demonstrated that host radial growth from 1978 to 1983 was highly correlated with budworm activity. The non-host chronologies from each stand were used to correct the host chronologies for climatic and other non-budworm environmental variations by a differencing procedure. The corrected chronologies were then used to estimate the dates and radial growth effects of past budworm outbreaks. Tree-ring characteristics of twentieth century documented outbreaks were used as criteria for inferring the occurrence of outbreaks in previous centuries. At least nine periods of increased budworm activity were identified in the region from 1700 to 1983. The mean duration of reduced growth periods caused by known and inferred budworm outbreaks was 12.6 years, and the mean interval between initial years of successive outbreaks was 34.9 years. The mean maximum radial growth loss was 50 percent of expected growth, and the mean periodic growth loss was 21.6 percent. There was an unusually long period of reduced budworm activity in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and since that time outbreaks have been markedly more synchronous between stands. Increased synchroneity of outbreaks in the latter half of the twentieth century suggests that areal extent of outbreaks has increased. This phenomenon may be due to changes in the age structure and species composition of forests following harvesting and fire suppression in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Dendrochronology.; Western spruce budworm.; Trees -- Diseases and pests.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Renewable Natural Resources; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WESTERN SPRUCE BUDWORM, CHORISTONEURA OCCIDENTALIS FREEMAN, IN THE SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS (COLORADO, NEW MEXICO)en_US
dc.creatorSWETNAM, THOMAS WILLIAMen_US
dc.contributor.authorSWETNAM, THOMAS WILLIAMen_US
dc.date.issued1987en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractTree-ring chronologies from ten mixed conifer stands in the Colorado Front Ranges and New Mexico Sangre de Cristo Mountains were used to reconstruct timing, duration, and radial growth impacts of past outbreaks of western spruce budworm, Choristoneura occidentalis Freeman. Graphical and statistical comparisons of tree-ring chronologies from host and non-host tree species, in conjunction with Forest Service records of outbreaks during the twentieth century, revealed that outbreaks were identifiable only in the host chronologies as sharply reduced growth periods. These comparisons also showed that host and non-host tree-ring chronologies were generally similar between outbreaks and that both were responding in a similar manner to climatic variation. A study of defoliation and insect population data that was available for the New Mexico stands demonstrated that host radial growth from 1978 to 1983 was highly correlated with budworm activity. The non-host chronologies from each stand were used to correct the host chronologies for climatic and other non-budworm environmental variations by a differencing procedure. The corrected chronologies were then used to estimate the dates and radial growth effects of past budworm outbreaks. Tree-ring characteristics of twentieth century documented outbreaks were used as criteria for inferring the occurrence of outbreaks in previous centuries. At least nine periods of increased budworm activity were identified in the region from 1700 to 1983. The mean duration of reduced growth periods caused by known and inferred budworm outbreaks was 12.6 years, and the mean interval between initial years of successive outbreaks was 34.9 years. The mean maximum radial growth loss was 50 percent of expected growth, and the mean periodic growth loss was 21.6 percent. There was an unusually long period of reduced budworm activity in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and since that time outbreaks have been markedly more synchronous between stands. Increased synchroneity of outbreaks in the latter half of the twentieth century suggests that areal extent of outbreaks has increased. This phenomenon may be due to changes in the age structure and species composition of forests following harvesting and fire suppression in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectDendrochronology.en_US
dc.subjectWestern spruce budworm.en_US
dc.subjectTrees -- Diseases and pests.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRenewable Natural Resourcesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZwolinski, Malcolm J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLynch, Annen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLehman, Gordonen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStokes, Marven_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLaMarche, Valen_US
dc.identifier.proquest8712915en_US
dc.identifier.oclc698474853en_US
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