Bark beetles: agents of change

bark beetle img 18A paper published yesterday in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, which resulted from a PAGES-supported workshop, investigates the effects of bark beetle outbreaks.

Titled "Bark beetles as agents of change in social–ecological systems", Jesse Morris and co-authors synthesize experiences from recent outbreaks to encourage knowledge transfer from previously impacted communities to potentially vulnerable locations.

Outbreaks are often detrimental to the provision of ecosystem services, including degraded landscape aesthetics and diminished air and water quality. However, there have been instances where they have benefited communities by improving habitat for grazing animals.

As a consequence of the interaction of a warming climate and susceptible forest stand conditions, the frequency, severity, and extent of bark beetle outbreaks are expected to increase and therefore will continue to challenge many social–ecological systems.

Access the paper here.