The Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program began in 2007. The program is conducting research, knowledge transfer and collaboration regarding mountain pine beetle in Alberta. Established under the Landscape Dynamics Program Theme of fRI Research's five-year Business Strategy, research and projects conducted by this Program will examine current and emerging aspects of the effects of mountain pine beetle infestations in the foothills and mountainous areas of Alberta.
A major concern lending urgency to this work is the emerging infestation of mountain pine beetle in Alberta. Much uncertainty surrounds the potential impacts of mountain pine beetle on forest ecology and the related implications. Some areas of concern are:
- Natural disturbance and stand dynamics research, which includes the relationship of fire, pine beetle and the eventual community impacts.
- Understanding forest management implications and options associated with pine beetle infestations.
- Quantification of the short and long-term changes to the fire regime that includes fire intensity and severity in beetle infected stands.
- Understanding mountain pine beetle biology and impact in Alberta.