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Feedbacks between Insect Outbreaks and Climate Change
MRIC 2009/10

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"Feedbacks between Insect Outbreaks and Climate Change"

November 17th 
Jeffrey A. Hicke - Geography
Abstract: Insects kill vast numbers of trees in Idaho, the United States, and North America. Climate change, in the form of higher temperatures and drought, is one driver of these outbreaks. The severity and extent of these disturbances imply large impacts to exchanges of carbon between the land and atmosphere, which lead to effects on future climate change. In this talk, I will describe research to establish the influence of climate on outbreaks of mountain pine beetle outbreaks, the insect that causes the most extensive tree mortality in the West. I will also discuss studies to quantify the impacts of these killed trees on atmospheric carbon dioxide and thus future climate change. A better understanding of the future of these forest disturbances and their impacts will improve decision-making of land managers, policymakers, and the public on Western forest issues.

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