Effects of Mountain Pine Beetle Attack on Hydrology and Post-attack Vegetation and Hydrology Recovery in Lodgepole Pine Forests in Alberta (Phase 1 Red Attack)

Note: in 2014, this project was continued in phase 2: grey attack stands.

This project will describe how mountain pine beetle attack drives changes in hydrology and vegetation. It will provide necessary data for mountain pine beetle decision support tools. This is phase one of the project, examining the effects during the green-red and red attack stages, immediately after mountain pine beetle attack.

Plots were established in 2008, and the hydrology and vegetation were characterized. In 2009, lodgepole pine stands near Robb, Alberta were treated to simulate mountain pine beetle attack. Twelve large replicated stand-scale plots (1.3 to 2.2 hectares) were used to produce two levels of simulated MPB attack (50% & 100%). These stands will be monitored to compared to hydrologic and vegetation responses in small clear cuts, and untreated control stands.

We will monitor weather, vegetation, and water on plots established in 2008 This includes:

  • crown condition
  • canopy and understory meteorological variables including crown light transmission
  • soil moisture
  • ground water response 

This monitoring will enable a description of how these important environmental conditions will likely drive larger changes in site hydrology and vegetation ecology. 

April 1 2008
Project Begins

The project kicks off, lead by Uldis Silins

Summer 2008
Sites Established

12 large plots near Robb selected and measured.

Spring 2009
Sites Treated

Chemical girdling is used to simulate 50% and 100% MPB attack mortality.

Summer 2010
Monitoring Continues

Hydrological responses measured in the green attack phase.

Summer 2010
Monitoring Continues

Hydrological responses measured in the reen-red attack phase.

Summer 2011
Monitoring Continues

Hydrological responses measured in the red attack phase.

Summer 2012
Interim Monitoring

Stepped-down monitoring as the stand transitions to grey-attack.

September 13 2012
Final Report Completed

Final Report 2012 submitted.

November 19 2012
Project Completed

Main body of research complete, planning for phase 2 underway.

Summer 2013
Interim Monitoring

Stepped-down monitoring as the stand transitions to grey-attack.

Presentations from the October 26, 2017 Mountain Pine Beetle Workshop
Videos | Summaries and Communications | Audio-Visual | Meeting Agenda and Proceedings | Presentation Slides
Video of four of the presentations from the 2017 MPB Breaking News Workshop, "Impacts of Beetles on Hydrology & Forest Management".
Effects of simulated MPB early red attack on hydrology, post-attack vegetation, fuels, and below-ground dynamics
Summaries and Communications | Presentation Slides
Presentation on effects of mountain pine beetle attack on hydrologic regime of stands, resistance of vegetation, fuels, below-ground dynamics to MPB
Effects of simulated MPB on hydrology and post-attack vegetation and below-ground dynamics
Summaries and Communications | Presentation Slides
Presentation on studies using simulated mountain pine beetle attacks to examine post-attack hydrologic response, vegetation and below-ground response.
Effects of simulated MPB on hydrology and post-attack vegetation and below-ground dynamics
Summaries and Communications | Presentation Slides
Presentation on studies using simulated mountain pine beetle attacks to examine post-attack hydrologic response, vegetation and below-ground response.
FRI-day Brown Bag Lunch Poster | Preparing for the Attack: effects of simulated mountain pine beetle on hydrology and vegetation of lodgepole pine forest in west-central Alberta
Summaries and Communications | Posters
Poster announcing presentation on the effects of simulated mountain pine beetle on lodgepole pine forest hydrology and vegetation in west central AB.
Effects of MPB on hydrology and post-attack vegetation dynamics
Summaries and Communications | Presentation Slides
Presentation given at November 2009 FRI Brown Bag Lunch on the effects of the mountain pine beetle on hydrology and post-attack vegetation dynamics.
Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program QuickNote #1: Effects of Mountain Pine Beetle Attack on Hydrology and Post-attack Vegetation and Hydrologic Recovery in Lodgepole Pine Forests
QuickNotes | Summaries and Communications
Note on study using experimental simulation of MPB attacks to study determine the effects on lodgepole pine stands.
Dr. Uldis Silins
Professor
Dr. Keith McClain
Dr. Keith McClain
Program Lead