Introductory QuickNotes for the Federal-Provincial MPB Partnership

watercolour illustration of a mountain pine beetle

The Government of Canada and Government of Alberta have funded a suit of new projects to address the ongoing mountain pine beetle threat to Alberta’s forests.

We called for proposals in November 2021 and February 2022 and out of the many proposals, we selected 23 research projects that respond to five key research themes. These projects are now underway, and their principal investigators have provided the following short introductions. Additional project introductions will be added to the site once they are reviewed and formatted.

1. MPB Biology

Modeling Eastern Spread Risk of Mountain Pine Beetle Using Host Genetic Ancestry

Dr. Catherine Cullingham, Dr. Rhiannon Peery, Jessica Duffy

The physiological costs and consequences of overwintering in Mountain Pine Beetle

Dr. Heath MacMillan, Dr. Catherine Cullingham, Dr. Maya Evenden, Dr. Mads Anderson

Improving monitoring tools to detect mountain pine beetle at low densities in novel habitats: incorporating host-tree stress and fungal volatiles in beetle attraction

Dr. Nadir Erbilgin

Modelling long-term dynamics of MPB in Alberta under climate change

Mark Lewis and Dr. Micah Brush

MPB Disersal & Spread

Assessment of eastern spread risk of Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) through studies on beetle dispersal and host colonization

Dr. Maya L. Evenden, Dr. Antonia Musso, Leanne Petro

Dynamic species distribution modelling to predict mountain pine beetle boreal invasion

Dr. Allan L. Carroll, Dr. Vivek Srivastava

Efficient monitoring of mountain pine beetle outbreak spots using artificial intelligence applied to drone thermal imagery

Dr. Nadir Erbilgin, Dr. Nilanjan Ray, Dr. Gregory McDermind

Toward pre-emptive management of future outbreaks: predicting the distribution of post-epidemic mountain pine beetle populations in the western boreal forest

Dr. Allan L. Carroll, Dr. Michael Howe, and Dr. Stanley Pokorny

Effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on population dynamics of secondary bark and ambrosia beetles

Dr. Nadir Erbilgin

4. Ecological and Social Impacts

Whitebark Pine Gene Conservation for the Northern Range in Alberta

Jodie Krakowski

Development of fine spatial resolution tree species in-formation for MPB-impacted ecosystems for Species-at-Risk habitat assessment

Dr. Nicholas Coops, Dr. Laura Finnegan, Cameron McLelland, Chris Bater

Using innovative techniques to understand how mountain pine beetle is shifting ecosystem composition and configuration in Jasper National Park

Dr. Eric Higgs, James Tricker, Dr. Jeanine Rhemtulla

Soil carbon stocks in forests recovering from mountain pine beetle outbreak: a possible C sink?

Dr. Justine Karst, Dr. Oleksandra (Sasha) Hararuk

Wildlife responses to forest stands impacted by mountain pine beetle in western Canada

Dr. Laura Finnegan

Impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle on the snow hydrology of the McLeod River watershed

Dr. Siraj ul Islam and Dr. Stephen Déry

Community Resilience to Mountain Pine Beetle and Other Forms of Disturbance and Change

Dr. Rob Friberg

5. Wildfire behaviour after MPB

Generation of Tree level Fire Fuel Information across MPB Infestation Mosaics

Dr. Nicholas Coops, Chris Bater

Assessment of Risk Factors Influencing Landscape Level Fire in MPB Forests

Dr. Christopher Bone, Dr. Khurram, and Steve Taylor

Quantifying Spatio-temporal variability in post-mountain pine beetle outbreak fuels in Jasper National Park using terrestrial laser scanning and bi-temporal, multi-spectral airborne LiDAR

Dr. Laura Chasmer, Dr. Chris Hopkinson, Dr. Patrick James, Dr. Zhouxin Xi

How do the spatial legacies of mountain pine beetle outbreaks affect fire severity in Canadian lodgepole pine forests?

Dr. Patrick M A James, Dr. Marc-André Parisien, Dr. Chris Stockdale

Understanding fire behaviour in mountain pine beetle disturbed vs. managed fuel complexes using novel data sources

Dr. Laura Chasmer, Dr. Chris Hopkinson, Dr. Patrick James, Ms. Tristan Skretting, Dr. Zhouxin Xi

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