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Fire and Insect Interactions in North American Forests

Fire and Insect Interactions in North American Forests Purpose of ReviewFire and insects are major disturbances in North American forests. We reviewed literature on the effects of fire on bark beetles, defoliators, and pollinators, as well as on the effects of bark beetle and defoliator epidemics on fuels and wildfires.Recent FindingsFire has direct and indirect effects on insects, but our understanding of these effects is confounded by several factors identified in this review. Direct effects are expressed through insect mortality due to exposure to fire, with few studies published on this topic. Indirect effects are expressed through changes in insect hosts and forest conditions, with bark beetle responses to fire-injured trees following prescribed fires and low-severity wildfires being the most studied. Although fire effects on pollinators are an emerging field of research, it is clear that fire can benefit pollinators by creating more open forest conditions, which, in turn, enhance floral resource availability. Bark beetle and defoliator epidemics can exert large effects on fuels, but their effects on wildfires are mixed. Differences in the severity, extent, and timing of epidemics, fire regimes, fire weather, topography, and the metrics and models used to assess wildfires, among other factors, confound our understanding of the effects of bark beetle and defoliator epidemics on wildfires.SummaryFire has both positive and negative effects on insects. Bark beetle and defoliator epidemics have positive and negative effects on wildfires. Additional study of these relationships is warranted given the effects of climate change on forests and forest disturbances, recent declines in some pollinator species in North America, and interests in restoring fire-adapted forest ecosystems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Forestry Reports Springer Journals

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References (243)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2022. Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.
eISSN
2198-6436
DOI
10.1007/s40725-022-00170-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose of ReviewFire and insects are major disturbances in North American forests. We reviewed literature on the effects of fire on bark beetles, defoliators, and pollinators, as well as on the effects of bark beetle and defoliator epidemics on fuels and wildfires.Recent FindingsFire has direct and indirect effects on insects, but our understanding of these effects is confounded by several factors identified in this review. Direct effects are expressed through insect mortality due to exposure to fire, with few studies published on this topic. Indirect effects are expressed through changes in insect hosts and forest conditions, with bark beetle responses to fire-injured trees following prescribed fires and low-severity wildfires being the most studied. Although fire effects on pollinators are an emerging field of research, it is clear that fire can benefit pollinators by creating more open forest conditions, which, in turn, enhance floral resource availability. Bark beetle and defoliator epidemics can exert large effects on fuels, but their effects on wildfires are mixed. Differences in the severity, extent, and timing of epidemics, fire regimes, fire weather, topography, and the metrics and models used to assess wildfires, among other factors, confound our understanding of the effects of bark beetle and defoliator epidemics on wildfires.SummaryFire has both positive and negative effects on insects. Bark beetle and defoliator epidemics have positive and negative effects on wildfires. Additional study of these relationships is warranted given the effects of climate change on forests and forest disturbances, recent declines in some pollinator species in North America, and interests in restoring fire-adapted forest ecosystems.

Journal

Current Forestry ReportsSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2022

Keywords: Bark beetles; Defoliators; Pollinators; Prescribed fire; Tree mortality; Wildfire

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